There's an interesting article here about Sony's potential (long-term) demise and Samsung's role in it:
"I came to Japan to talk to Mr. Idei about our growing concerns with Sony's direction. We had dinner together. I wanted to talk about profit margins; he wanted to talk about the wine we were having. He struck me as a clueless."
When the investor pointed out that Sony's operating profits on electronic products were roughly 2-4 percent and that Samsung was making similar products at a 30 percent profit margin, Idei hushed him by reportedly saying, "They make the parts for our products. We put them together. It's the difference between a steel maker and an automobile maker. We make the automobiles."
The investor apparently countered, "Well, I've got news for you-the people you laid off from the car plant are now working at the steel mill, and soon the steel mills will be building cars with your technology."
It's a dangerous setup to directly compete with your supplier but Samsung is obviously a high quality supplier. Their strategy seems to be to undermine rival giants like Sony and Apple by learning what goes into their products, use that in their own products and compete with them. They need them to stay around though because otherwise, they have no direction to take their products.
It appears Apple is the brand that is replacing Sony in mindshare. Their string of successes have ensured that most of Sony's achievements have been made irrelevant and lower priced manufacturers like Samsung and LG are absorbing the rest.
I would love to see Apple and parts of Sony together. Imagine Playstation being an iOS component taking on the XBox Surface publishing AAA games. Sony Pictures putting exclusive first-run streaming movies to Apple TV. Having a digital premiere pay-per-view streaming service would finally wrest control over films away from the Cinema chains. 400 million customers, $5 per premiere could easily create the first opening night $1b movie premiere.
I think the more that hardware is becoming irrelevant (like in the TV industry), content distribution needs to be invested in to hold back the likes of Samsung. No point in buying a Galaxy Tab or any Android devices if you can't get certain AAA game franchises.
Originally Posted by GTR
Apple makes decisions on behalf of consumers to only allow things to be done a certain way based on this concept (e.g. we're removing floppy drives, we 're removing FLASH, we're removing optical drives, we're not giving you any widgets to customise) and many people (I'd go as far as to say 50-60% of the population) have a problem with getting told what to do.
Put it down to bad parenting issues.
And yet you think they'd have learned everybody ends up going that way eventually. Even a former Sony exec in the above link says about Blu-Ray:
"Sony has a great love for proprietary technology that isn't shared in common with other electronic makers. Because it seeks to impose it's standard as the industry standard, it often forces itself out of the market. They succeeded with Blu-Ray but digital downloading makes that a hollow victory. Who wants to buy a Blu-Ray when you can download a digital HD copy of your favorite movie from i-Tunes as soon as you want to see it?"
Look at the direction everyone has gone with keyboard-less phones, restricted App Stores, tablets and so on and yet the complaints still come.