March 2, 2013

Sony, From Hipster to Nerd

Gone are the days when Sony made innovative products like the Walkman and great products like televisions that you willingly paid top dollar for. 

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (18-24 February 2013) reports on Sony that "after eight years of losses in the TV business, it projects a $215 million profit this year--only after selling its New York headquarter for $1.1 billion."

LA Times reported last May that Sony announced its largest ever loss for year-end March 31, 2012 of $5.6 billion, nearly double its prior-year loss of $3.2 billion. They also announced layoffs for 10,000 employees. 

Sony is reorganizing and shedding businesses (displays, chemicals, etc.) and according to Bloomberg looking to generate 70% of sales and 85% of profit from just 3 remaining businesses--cameras, smartphones/tablets, and gaming. 

However, Sony has lost its way...

Maybe it started in the 80's when Sony lost out in VCR (videocassette recorder) format wars with its Betamax to VHS, and it continues today with a lack of innovation in the mobile technology marketplace. Anybody want to buy a Sony Ericsson phone?  Ah, no! 

Additionally, if you have ever been to a Sony retail store--probably not--they are a truly sad imitation of Apple and virtually nobody is in there. Hello--echo.

Sony is not only losing the technology war, the retail war, and the market share (it has only 4.5% of the phone market according to the Wall Street Journal) and earnings war, but also the branding war and they have just become plain uncool.

Sony's products have names that are unrecognizable, unpronounceable, or just plain alphabet soup. 

Do you want to buy a MacBook or a Vaio, iPhone or Xperia, Kindle Fire or PRST, a Sharp Elite or XBR, an Xbox 360 or a PS4?

The answer is obvious to everyone but Sony. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)


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