Sony takes full control of mobile business to better compete with Apple

2»

Comments

  • uguysrnutsuguysrnuts Posts: 459member
    Judging by the inept HP board, she may coast until 2013.



    She'll be known as the dollar CEO that's actually only worth a dollar.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maccherry View Post


    Oh no you didn't ! But yeah, Sony sucks.

    Their vita is garbage , their phones are trash and when that Apple tv( knock on wood) drops Sony will be seen as a tired 500 lb. gorilla, just like HP.

    By the way, who wants to bet Meg Whitman will be

    out of there by the end of the year?



  • addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,667member
    Dear Sony:



    1--Eliminate 80% of your product offerings. You make so many different things, and so many iterations of each of those things, that I doubt even you have a firm handle on all of them. Make a half a dozen versions each of TVs and computers, make a couple of tablets and a couple of phones. You don't need 900 variants of earbud and headphones, obscure niche devices like your bizarre track record with e-readers/vegetable slicers, shitty boom boxes, random collections of every possible permutation of music devices, etc. etc. etc. Really. You don't. Stop it.



    2-- I know you love your engineers. It's laudable, you're an engineering driven company and you've done some great work in the past. But it's a new world. Feature studded gizmos with interfaces only a mad scientist could love simply won't cut it any more. Design first, task the engineers with making it happen. Don't let them push on new functionality just because they can do it. It doesn't make the product better. Honest.



    3-- Tell us your story. Who the hell is Sony, anymore? Step 1 is a big part of this. If you cut away the cruft you can be that "4 screens" company with some kind of coherent narrative. If not, your 4 screens will lost in the flea market that is your product lineup.



    4-- Allow your CEO to tell the movie people to fuck off. You're not going to get anywhere if you have properties working at cross purposes.



    5-- None of this is going to happen. You're going to sink under the weight of your accumulated nonsense. Perhaps once you're on life support, you'll spin off a smaller, more nimble version of yourself that takes the best design and engineering people with them, and you can do some good work.
  • uguysrnutsuguysrnuts Posts: 459member
    Maybe Sony can create an interactive game on how to save itself. The game's name could either be "titanic", "where in the world is our profits" or "which billion dollar company will bite the dust?"
  • backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Dear Sony:



    1--Eliminate 80% of your product offerings. You make so many different things, and so many iterations of each of those things, that I doubt even you have a firm handle on all of them. Make a half a dozen versions each of TVs and computers, make a couple of tablets and a couple of phones. You don't need 900 variants of earbud and headphones, obscure niche devices like your bizarre track record with e-readers/vegetable slicers, shitty boom boxes, random collections of every possible permutation of music devices, etc. etc. etc. Really. You don't. Stop it.



    2-- I know you love your engineers. It's laudable, you're an engineering driven company and you've done some great work in the past. But it's a new world. Feature studded gizmos with interfaces only a mad scientist could love simply won't cut it any more. Design first, task the engineers with making it happen. Don't let them push on new functionality just because they can do it. It doesn't make the product better. Honest.



    3-- Tell us your story. Who the hell is Sony, anymore? Step 1 is a big part of this. If you cut away the cruft you can be that "4 screens" company with some kind of coherent narrative. If not, your 4 screens will lost in the flea market that is your product lineup.



    4-- Allow your CEO to tell the movie people to fuck off. You're not going to get anywhere if you have properties working at cross purposes.



    5-- None of this is going to happen. You're going to sink under the weight of your accumulated nonsense. Perhaps once you're on life support, you'll spin off a smaller, more nimble version of yourself that takes the best design and engineering people with them, and you can do some good work.



    I read with great interest your post concerning Sony. I was wondering what your thoughts are of that once great company RIM? What advice would you give them?



    Your secret admirer,



    T.H.
  • filburtfilburt Posts: 398member
    Given how Sony is laggard in many areas, I can't help but think "four screen strategy" is two screens too many.



    To me, Sony's PC business is basically a lost cause. Heck, most Sony employees use computers made by other manufacturers. Perhaps Sony is thinking of website as a way to bring "four screen" for PC, but why bother?



    As for tablets, return of investment seems too limited given intense competitions.



    That leaves phones and television. Sony is very much a laggard in phones business, but if they can fully transition PSP to phones, they might be able to capture enough niche market to be a player.



    As for television, they really need to cut down number of models further. If you ask me, I would offer only 5 models: mid-end models in 32", 46", and 55" and high-end models in 55" and 65". Tighten inventory turnover and improve margin. And offer PlayStation Suite capability across all TV models.



    Moreover, focus on usability over everything. Current implementation leaves a lot to be desired, with clunky UI and app store. Go back to the drawing board.
  • davewritedavewrite Posts: 57member
    How do you have FULL control when you don't even control your own OS?
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    Four screens, but how many operating systems?



    Exactly. Show me the equivalent of iCloud content across four Sony screens. Oops, that VAIO PC running Windows 8 is trying to share your photos with Windows Live! Or SkyDrive. Can I get that on the PS3? On that Android tablet?



    Sony has potential, but they don't control all the pieces.
  • timbittimbit Posts: 323member
    Sony should stick with the one thing they were good at. TVs. Once Apple has their tv out, Sony will have even more problems, so they need to focus on their strengths and drop all the other junk they sell.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,904member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Timbit View Post


    Sony should stick with the one thing they were good at. TVs.



    They already gave up on TVs a long time ago.



    Quote:

    Once Apple has their tv out



    Oh gosh, how many times, people?



    Quote:

    so they need to focus on their strengths and drop all the other junk they sell.



    Don't they make good sensors? Maybe they should just stick with good sensors. Try making sensors that can actually capture what people see. I've had many pictures of sunsets ruined because the sensor couldn't capture the gradient properly.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I read with great interest your post concerning Sony. I was wondering what your thoughts are of that once great company RIM? What advice would you give them?



    Your secret admirer,



    T.H.



    Here's what I'd tell RIM, not that you asked me, but I'm gonna tell you anyway



    1. Stop trying to be Apple. You aren't going to out-iPhone the iPhone. You aren't going to out-iTunes iTunes or out-App Store the App Store. Apple spent a long time growing their enviable product, OS, and content ecosystems. Don't try to replicate that overnight through wasteful acquisitions. Go back and figure out where RIM adds value. The age of BBM is over. You should really be working on what's next. What comes after BBM?



    2. Dump PlayBook. You heard me. Amazon won the not-iPad market race. You haven't figured out the secret sauce and you aren't connecting with customers. They'll look at PlayBook and ask, "why should I buy it?" The iPad and Kindle Fire transcended gadget status and became useful everyday products in people's lives. Who cares about "better multitasking"? Listen: amateur hour is over, time to sink this and move on.



    3. Scale back to one product; I'm not talking about a handset, I mean product. Today product means more than just a unit of hardware, like a phone: it's the entire set of services behind it. With the iPhone and iPad, that product includes iTunes, App Store and iCloud. With Android, it's all of Google's application and data services. What your product? Who is your customer? What's the value proposition? What is unique about it (i.e., secret sauce)? Don't know? Get to work on figuring that out. Focus.
  • zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 1,827member
    I read somewhere that Steve Jobs felt the reason why Apple could best Sony is that Apple divisions didn't have to compete against each other because there was only one P&L. At Sony, the movie division doesn't want to "give" their content to the hardware division unless the hardware division not only pays for it, but is willing to pay more than other parties. (I've experienced the same thing in large companies I've worked for - in one, we had to buy physical products from a third party distributor because the company's own divisions wouldn't sell directly to us even though we weren't asking for any more of a discount than anyone else got.)



    I also read that when Howard Stringer took the job at Sony, he was surprised to discover that even though he was CEO, not every division reported to him.



    Until Sony changes all that, they cannot succeed, but it's easier said than done because unlike Apple's small and focused product line, Sony has thousands, maybe tens of thousands of products.



    When Akio Morita co-ran Sony they were a great company because he used his instincts to create new product lines (like the Sony Walkman) much the same way that Steve Jobs did. Sony hasn't been the same since his death and I'm hoping the same fate doesn't befall Apple.



    Sony hypes the integration of content with their hardware, but when you look at the content they make available with their CD players and TVs, it's mostly pretty poor. Just a few concerts, a few Michael Jackson videos, etc. It all looks more like they put something up so they can say that they have the function more than anyone thought through the user experience. Their TV web browser is simply awful.



    Their tech support is also pretty bad - it's amazing the incredibly stupid suggestions I've received back from them - their first line tech support (and it's almost impossible to get beyond them) doesn't really understand their own products.



    As for their UI, I used to hate it, but then I saw the UI on their competitor's components and it's far worse.



    I do think it is too late for Sony in the mobile business because if they use Windows or Android, it's another look-alike product and if they try to develop their own OS, they're years behind. So the question is, what can they bring to the table? And I think the only thing they can bring to the table is tons of free or very low priced content. So access to all Sony music, movies and TV shows for $5 a month or something like that. Sony phones that work as a remote control for other Sony devices, but with functionality way beyond what they already have today in the remote App that they have for the iPhone/iPad.



    Instead of pushing their version of "Google TV", beating Apple to the market with a TV that resolves all the UI issues in a thousand channel universe. Maybe a TV that comes with a sensor so that the TV can automatically perform its own ISF calibration for a perfect picture. A TV that enables a menu screen with multiple PIPs so that one can could see what's going on a whole range of channels (including web channels) at once. Working with partners so that online stats, conversations or text message could be overlaid on a TV show, such as a sporting event. And tons of other stuff that I haven't thought of yet.



    I think twenty years from now, the big growth area is going to be robotics. Sony has gotten into this area a little with their expensive little robot dog, but I think the first company who makes some real breakthroughs in this area will win big, if they're willing to invest for the long-term. I can see robotics being a big part of Apple in 20 years.
  • backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Here's what I'd tell RIM, not that you asked me, but I'm gonna tell you anyway



    1. Stop trying to be Apple. You aren't going to out-iPhone the iPhone. You aren't going to out-iTunes iTunes or out-App Store the App Store. Apple spent a long time growing their enviable product, OS, and content ecosystems. Don't try to replicate that overnight through wasteful acquisitions. Go back and figure out where RIM adds value. The age of BBM is over. You should really be working on what's next. What comes after BBM?



    2. Dump PlayBook. You heard me. Amazon won the not-iPad market race. You haven't figured out the secret sauce and you aren't connecting with customers. They'll look at PlayBook and ask, "why should I buy it?" The iPad and Kindle Fire transcended gadget status and became useful everyday products in people's lives. Who cares about "better multitasking"? Listen: amateur hour is over, time to sink this and move on.



    3. Scale back to one product; I'm not talking about a handset, I mean product. Today product means more than just a unit of hardware, like a phone: it's the entire set of services behind it. With the iPhone and iPad, that product includes iTunes, App Store and iCloud. With Android, it's all of Google's application and data services. What your product? Who is your customer? What's the value proposition? What is unique about it (i.e., secret sauce)? Don't know? Get to work on figuring that out. Focus.





    You missed the sarcasm in the post. But nice reply.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    You missed the sarcasm in the post. But nice reply.



    You're welcome, and thanks for visiting AppleInsider, Mr. Heins.
  • drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    When Akio Morita co-ran Sony they were a great company because he used his instincts to create new product lines (like the Sony Walkman) much the same way that Steve Jobs did. Sony hasn't been the same since his death and I'm hoping the same fate doesn't befall Apple.



    I don't think you have anything to worry about. If you take some time, Apple has ways to let users submit feedback for product enhancements, suggestions, comments, etc.



    They look at this and if they see a way to improve, they do, and they actually move fairly quickly when they can.



    Apple was left as a well oiled machine just plain making things better. The next OS X release is just to update various apps to make it work better with the iOS products. I am very interested to see what the next year's OS X release looks like, because they are already working on that. iOS 6 might come out when the iPhone 5 is released, if the rumor mill is correct.



    Apple is trying to update their OS's more often and with more reliability, since they can!
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poke View Post


    I think this is a smart move. But those "4 screens" need a common platform otherwise it's pointless. They should also reduce their product catalogue and focus more on doing a few things right. There's also the problem that they suck at software and UX.



    They also suck at customer service. In fact, Microsoft, who is no prime example of how to provide service, is much better at it. If you have a problem with Sony hardware, it's time to mail it to your nearest service depot.
  • addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,667member
    Here's an example of how far Sony has fallen-- the mighty Sony TCD5M:







    Best portable analog cassette deck ever made. Beloved of journalists and sound recordists alike. Bullet proof. Extracted the best possible sound out of a pretty marginal format. Nothing proprietary. Laid out precisely and logically. Extraordinarily high levels of fit and finish. Exactly what it needed and nothing else. A joy to use.



    This is the kind of thing that inspired Jobs (and I'll wager Ive). The design and engineering flowed from the purpose. But at some point the people who could come up with this were no longer tasked with maintaining focus, and they started adding switches and meters and buttons to devices that didn't need them. It made some Sony stuff look kind of badass, in a Death Star sort of way, but deeply compromised their usability and even the customers ability to discern exactly what the product was for.



    And then digital came along and they completely lost the plot. Feature bloat plus overly fussy design plus just too many damn things for sale. It's a shame.
  • relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Timbit View Post


    Sony should stick with the one thing they were good at. TVs. Once Apple has their tv out, Sony will have even more problems, so they need to focus on their strengths and drop all the other junk they sell.



    It doesn't matter which company comes out with a new phone or tablet it will never be good enough for anyone on this board. Their new phones are really nice, have you even seen one yet? The Xperia S has a 720 x 1280 screen, dual core 1.5 GHZ CPU, 12MP camera all inside a very attractive case. The price, under 500 dollars off contract.



    Not bad for an almost free phone on contract. Yes, I know it's not the perfect iPhone 4S but not everybody has the money or who knows maybe even want a larger screen then 3.5".



    Why does every product that doesn't have an Apple on the back have to be crap. Sometimes some of you can be really stuck up, shame on you.
  • relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    I read somewhere that Steve Jobs felt the reason why Apple could best Sony is that Apple divisions didn't have to compete against each other because there was only one P&L. At Sony, the movie division doesn't want to "give" their content to the hardware division unless the hardware division not only pays for it, but is willing to pay more than other parties. (I've experienced the same thing in large companies I've worked for - in one, we had to buy physical products from a third party distributor because the company's own divisions wouldn't sell directly to us even though we weren't asking for any more of a discount than anyone else got.)



    I also read that when Howard Stringer took the job at Sony, he was surprised to discover that even though he was CEO, not every division reported to him.



    Until Sony changes all that, they cannot succeed, but it's easier said than done because unlike Apple's small and focused product line, Sony has thousands, maybe tens of thousands of products.



    When Akio Morita co-ran Sony they were a great company because he used his instincts to create new product lines (like the Sony Walkman) much the same way that Steve Jobs did. Sony hasn't been the same since his death and I'm hoping the same fate doesn't befall Apple.



    Sony hypes the integration of content with their hardware, but when you look at the content they make available with their CD players and TVs, it's mostly pretty poor. Just a few concerts, a few Michael Jackson videos, etc. It all looks more like they put something up so they can say that they have the function more than anyone thought through the user experience. Their TV web browser is simply awful.



    Their tech support is also pretty bad - it's amazing the incredibly stupid suggestions I've received back from them - their first line tech support (and it's almost impossible to get beyond them) doesn't really understand their own products.



    As for their UI, I used to hate it, but then I saw the UI on their competitor's components and it's far worse.



    I do think it is too late for Sony in the mobile business because if they use Windows or Android, it's another look-alike product and if they try to develop their own OS, they're years behind. So the question is, what can they bring to the table? And I think the only thing they can bring to the table is tons of free or very low priced content. So access to all Sony music, movies and TV shows for $5 a month or something like that. Sony phones that work as a remote control for other Sony devices, but with functionality way beyond what they already have today in the remote App that they have for the iPhone/iPad.



    Instead of pushing their version of "Google TV", beating Apple to the market with a TV that resolves all the UI issues in a thousand channel universe. Maybe a TV that comes with a sensor so that the TV can automatically perform its own ISF calibration for a perfect picture. A TV that enables a menu screen with multiple PIPs so that one can could see what's going on a whole range of channels (including web channels) at once. Working with partners so that online stats, conversations or text message could be overlaid on a TV show, such as a sporting event. And tons of other stuff that I haven't thought of yet.



    I think twenty years from now, the big growth area is going to be robotics. Sony has gotten into this area a little with their expensive little robot dog, but I think the first company who makes some real breakthroughs in this area will win big, if they're willing to invest for the long-term. I can see robotics being a big part of Apple in 20 years.



    I'm a big fan of robotics and A.I. but I really think robotics still belongs to Japanese. Honda spends millions of Yen on research a year. I haven't heard a peep from Apple on this subject. Keep the faith though, hopefully with Apple's billions they could start a side project, I don't think so though.
  • mchan1mchan1 Posts: 5member
    I used to enjoy Sony products, but over the years, that it's gotten really bloated.

    IMHO, the only product that's keeping the company afloat is the PS3, just barely.

    Their legendary TV division has fallen to their Korean rivals.



    What is Sony?

    No one knows anymore.

    It's so big and arrogant that divisions literally do no communicate with each other, which is a known fact in Japan (if you can read/listen to Japanese news).

    So much bureaucracy.



    Sadly, the company depends on their name sake on older products instead of being an innovator it once was.

    Many of their products look and feel the same and it's overpriced!



    Decent hardware but too many similar products and their software just plain s#ck!

    For example... decent phones, though small, but the software just s#ck (i.e. Media Go)!

    Also, too much focus on style/design but nothing on functionality in their products.



    Shrink the company... Split up the divisions...

    Communicate with each other to focus on products instead of making hundreds of similar looking/acting products...

    Focus on certain areas like music or consumer devices or cellphones instead of doing many things...

    Whatever!



    The recent news of the company losing money, esp. in their N. American operations, does not come as a surprise.



    I want to like the company again but have stayed away for the most part!

    I'm surprised Sony has stayed afloat financially for this long. But for how much longer?

    Who knows?
  • dentdent Posts: 10member
    Ericsson mobile phones were always cutting edge back in the 90's, before Sony bought a stake. They innovated Bluetooth, but had to license it out because they couldn't afford to complete the R+D on their own, they were also the first to release a mobile with a colour screen in the T68...







    Ericsson mobile phones were reliable, handsome, technically superior to any other manufacturer of the day, had the most user friendly UI in existence & were almost indestructible ..you could throw a T68 at a wall and it would come back in two pieces - put the (Ericsson developed) Li-Pol battery back on and it would work again.



    right up until their acquisition of Ericsson shares, Sony had never previously made a handset that captured anyone's imagination or one that was reliable! Their "Mars Bar" phones were amongst the most unreliable (and ugly) you could buy! their solution? introduce a "Jog Wheel" to make navigation easier!



    So they buy a stake in an innovative little manufacturer that needs the money and proceed to ruin the interface with proprietary branding and 'features' that all lead to Sony's mobile website ...they ruined the experience.



    Will their completion of the acquisition of the mobile division help their profitability? No ..because they'll still try to direct users to the corporate site rather than allow them to make the decision to visit for themselves! and if you try to force people's hand, they'll rebel.



    I personally haven't bought a Sony product since the Rootkit scandal of 2005 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BM...ootkit_scandal. Where I previously would have bought a Sony, I instead bought an equivalent Samsung or (once) LG - including mobile phones, TV's & Blu-Ray players. They don't deserve my hard earned cash.



    Here's hoping Ericsson can rebuild a mobile division that starts innovating again.
Sign In or Register to comment.