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

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
After paying $1.4 billion to take sole control of its mobile business, Sony has named a new head of its smartphone division, as the company hopes to better compete with rivals like Apple and Samsung.

Kunimasa Suzuki, responsible for planning and design of Sony's consumer products and services, has been tapped to become the president and chief executive of Sony Mobile Communications, The Wall Street Journal. The company paved the way for the move in buying out Swedish partner Ericsson, which had been a part of Sony's mobile business for a decade.

But it was that partnership with Ericsson, and the lack of complete control it gave Sony, that the company viewed as a major weakness. It bought out Ericsson for €1.05 billion, or $1.38 billion U.S., in an effort to take on Apple and its highly successful iPhone and iPad.

Sony is now pursuing a unified "four screens" strategy that will span across the company's smartphone, PC, television and tablet product lines. Suzuki is one of the top deputies of Sony Chief Executive Kazuo Harai, who took over the company earlier this year.

Harai became famous for his work with Sony's gaming business and the PlayStation brand. But in his new role as CEO, he looks to mimic Apple's strategy by tightly integrating hardware and software in Sony's products.




"Kuni has a vast experience in product planning and management in the information technology and mobile product business, as well as experience of cultivating business in emerging markets," Hirai said. "He is a strong leader and the right person to oversee Sony Mobile Communications as we establish a new business structure as 'One Sony' intended to reinforce and accelerate our overall business management."

The changes come as Sony has struggled to return to profitability. In the December quarter alone, the Japanese electronics maker reported an operating loss of $1.2 billion, on revenue of $23.4 billion.

The final year of operation for Sony Ericsson also saw a loss of €247 million as the company failed to gain significant market share. The latest data from Gartner gave Sony Ericsson a 1.8 percent share of mobile device sales in 2011, well behind Apple's 5 percent share and Samsung's 17.7 percent.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 41
Four screens, but how many operating systems?
post #3 of 41
If they had to think about this, it's already too late.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by uguysrnuts View Post

If they had to think about this, it's already too late.

lol agreed!
post #5 of 41
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.
post #6 of 41
So they can beat apple by copying apple?

They only way Sony can win is to come up with something to change the game. The name Sony doesnt draw people the way it used to. They have to be better than apple.
post #7 of 41
Not gonna happen. It goes against "throw everything, see what sticks". Aka "diversifying" to cover all markets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

They should also reduce their product catalogue and focus more on doing a few things right.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #8 of 41
And for the new Sony, will "tightly integrating hardware and software" still involve the same generic Windows and Android operating systems that are used by makers of the most bargain-priced, low-margin, nondescript devices out there?
post #9 of 41
What Sony, RIM, HP, etc., need to understand is they have to reinvent themselves the way Apple had to back in 1997.

They need to make themselves cool (or at least seem to) to become relevant again. The masses have moved on a long, long time ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TailsToo View Post

So they can beat apple by copying apple?

They only way Sony can win is to come up with something to change the game. The name Sony doesnt draw people the way it used to. They have to be better than apple.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
Reply
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #10 of 41
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.

My guess: ARM based processors using flavours of the Power Systems Software.
post #11 of 41
Good luck to them. I was a Sony-Ericsson fanboy, having had a k750i then a k800i. Then I looked at a k850i in a shop and I was shocked at how tacky it was and bought an iPhone. Best thing I ever did. Now they're stuck with Android, just as their laptops are stuck with Windows. That doesn't give them much room for manoeuvre. Maybe put a few more megapixels on the camera, a few widgets on the welcome screen, and compete on price. That would never win me back.
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post #12 of 41
It will interesting to see if Harai will actually be able to get the titanic Sony through the iceberg field that they're in.

I'd love to know what they're going to be doing in the software field, considering it's been their Achilles heel for decades. They'll be starting from scratch in this department if they do it themselves.
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If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
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post #13 of 41
To be like Apple, you have to have your own OS and be good at both software and hardware.

Sony might be able to get away with developing its own fork of Android but they're stuck with Windows. And they're as good as anyone in hardware but boy do they crank out awful software.

And enough with the proprietary storage media!
post #14 of 41
Apple could buy Sony at 19B and not burp. Great brand name, great media empire.
perhaps wait till it is worth half as much in a year or two though.
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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post #15 of 41
So Sony is still putting the focus on the HW, not the SW or services? Good luck, Sony.

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post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So Sony is still putting the focus on the HW, not the SW or services? Good luck, Sony.

They don't want RIM to go down alone.
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So Sony is still putting the focus on the HW, not the SW or services? Good luck, Sony.

Well said. It's more of the same old, same old, from Apple's competition.
post #18 of 41
In the days before the iPhone I purchased two of those pieces of junk. While I had returned phones to be repaired before, I had never returned one to be replaced with SOMETHING DIFFERENT. They simply felt so cheap and had poor reception.

Too bad for Sony. This will never work and they just wasted 1.4 billion dollars!
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by uguysrnuts View Post

If they had to think about this, it's already too late.

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?
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

[...] Sony is now pursuing a unified "four screens" strategy that will span across the company's smartphone, PC, television and tablet product lines. [...]

Not sure if "PC" should be considered just one of four screens. Maybe laptop / desktop could be considered separate screens.

Then again, Sony is in big trouble. Splitting hairs like that is a luxury that they can't afford.

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post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So Sony is still putting the focus on the HW, not the SW or services? Good luck, Sony.

Indeed. I remember when US companies were in awe of Japan Inc. Back when Sony's secret key to success was the firmware that drove their hardware. That's right. I read in many traditional media outlets that Japanese manufacturers' bulletproof firmware was one of their main strengths. The built-in mini-OS that ran in '90s Sony TVs with its on-screen feature navigation.

Now we can look back and see that Sony, among others, thought that the best way to deliver a great user experience was to train users to become great at dealing with a terrible user interface. By hitting generations of users with the same thing over and over. To train them to think that there was no alternative. Their solution to the blinking 12:00 on all those un-programmed VCRs was the DVD player.

They milked that firmware advantage for all it was worth, but that cow is dead now.
They haven't successfully transitioned to the next level.

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post #22 of 41
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?
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
Reply
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #23 of 41
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.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #24 of 41
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?"
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
Reply
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #25 of 41
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.
post #26 of 41
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.
post #27 of 41
How do you have FULL control when you don't even control your own OS?
post #28 of 41
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.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #29 of 41
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.
post #30 of 41
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.
post #31 of 41
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.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #32 of 41
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.
post #33 of 41
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.
post #34 of 41
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.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #35 of 41
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!
post #36 of 41
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.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #37 of 41
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.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #38 of 41
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.
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post #39 of 41
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.
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #40 of 41
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?
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