Originally Posted by Michael Scrip
You're right... Apple and Sony don't have much in common as corporations or through their heritage.
But the question was.... will Apple ever slip into irrelevance
(like Sony has with televisions, for instance)
In the context of what was said in the interview... Brian Williams said when he was a child having a Sony Trinitron was a big deal.
Nowadays... Sony TVs aren't a big deal anymore.
They weren't talking about Apple as a whole and Sony as a whole. It was more about Sony no longer being the first company you think of for consumer electronics.
And I think that extends beyond TVs... do people go crazy for Sony phones, tablets and VAIO computers?
The bottom line is... 20 years ago Sony was THE consumer electronics company. Now... not so much.
Will Apple ever get into that situation sometime in the future?
I think Sony lost/losing in TVs for several reasons. Up until recent SmartTVs, the HDTV was a simple monitor. The TV companies weren't adding much value each year while pricing kept declining. Sony kept premium pricing while their HDTVs didn't offer an extra value for the average consumer.
The HDTV became a simple monitor, similar to its role on computers. The real value is from the media content and other services that could be used via the display/HDTV. The HDTV value was only related to picture quality, which became good enough from all competitors.
Like someone mentioned, their was no OS offing new value thru content and services.
SmartTVs are changing things but cable boxes and media boxes (Roku, AppleTV, Xbox, PS3, etc...) add more value than the stuff built into SmartTVs. How often are SmartTVs going to get software updates or be replaced by a consumer for a new model. MediaBoxes are the future, with consumers opting to update a $99 box ever few years, like the smartphone industry. HDTVs are like Dell and HP desktops, they are "good enough" and people will keep them till they break.