“Japanese electronics giant Sony’s latest foray into the digital music retail business this week unleashes the most potent competitor yet against Apple Computer’s iTunes Music Store, setting the stage for a high-stakes battle between two technology titans known for stylish innovation,” John Borland writes for CNET News.
“Tuesday’s launch of Sony’s Connect song store may well presage a deepening conflict between the two companies in coming years… Each company is looking closely at a long-predicted future, when digital “convergence” potentially allows traditionally separate hardware and software markets to merge into a single device that can surf the Net, play movies, music and video games, and serve as the brain of a network that distributes that content to subsidiary devices around a home,” Borland writes.
“The Connect store, and associated electronics, are part of Sony’s bid to recapture its role as the personal electronics leader. Its position as such has long been taken for granted but has been eclipsed to a surprising degree by Apple over the past two years,” Borland writes. “‘Consumers will benefit from the flexibility that only Sony can offer, with access to the largest selection of portable audio players on the market, priced to fit anyone’s music lifestyle, Jay Samit, Sony Connect general manager, said in a statement.”
Borland writes, “Analysts say these visions are likely to clash for years to come, and will likely end in a detente. While Apple and Sony each are pushing for consumers to adopt a whole line of products from top to bottom, most homes are expected to ultimately mix and match products from various different companies. ‘This isn’t going to reach the point where you have a Sony home or an Apple home,’ The Yankee Group’s Ainscough said. ‘You’re still going to have multiple brands in a single home.'”
Full article here.