I love Sony. I really do.
I bought my first Sony TV back in 1999. It’s been with me until 2009, which is when I bought a new Sony TV, a home audio system with 1000 watts, a Blu-Ray player, a tuner/applifier, and a PS3 – all by Sony.
When that system dies, I will probably buy another one by Sony. Why? Because they rock. They have a clear design language, solid technology, everything runs stable with a minimum amount of cabeling required. And they last a long time. I will revisit that last point further down.
Having said that, Sony is bleeding money. They sell almost all of their consumer products at barely breaking even.
Now, they are merging some of their divisions to stop the blood loss.
How did this happen? They used to be to consumers what Apple is today: King of the hill.
I believe they need to re-focus. They need all their consumer-facing businesses to look in the same direction: Cupertino.
This will take time, because Sony is built like many companies of it’s size: Almost independent units. They share the same name, but they all have different goals. This is fatal in today’s consumer driven electronics industry.
I hope they make it.
I mentioned above that Sony products last a long time, and I was mainly thinking about TV’s. All TV’s last a long time now, and they’re not expensive like they used to be. My 46″ LCD cost around 1.000 Euros close to three years ago. I don’t plan on getting a new one for another few years.
And that’s exactly why Apple will, most likely, stay out of this business.