Analysts: Sony vs. Apple ‘likely to clash for years, but will likely end in detente’

“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.


  1. Maybe we will “mix and match” brands…but i doubt it.

    When CDs became popular there weren’t specific CDs for different brand CD players, they all worked together. This isn’t the case with all the online music stores. There’s Apple with AAC, Sony with ATRAC, and a bunch of others with WMA.

    It’s a lot more like the Beta vs. VHS thing…and we all know what happened to Beta…

  2. Sony does have the long term advantage over Apple. This is Sony’s own backyard, don’t think that they don’t understand the consumer in this space.

    I wish my best to Steve though, right now, the ball is in his court.

  3. I’m not holding my breath waiting for a detente. This new Sony service will go the way of the Betamax and MiniDisc much faster than anyone currently realizes. While they may have a fighting chance in Asia and perhaps Europe, this will fail miserably in North America for certain.

  4. We’re sorry.

    We know you are interested in using the Connect music store. Unfortunately SonicStage only works on Windows 98SE and above.

    We have no immediate plans to support other operating systems at this time. However, we believe this is an important user base and we hope to support it in the future.

    Thank you for your interest.

  5. Interesting. It just crashes Safari on the computer I’m on right now. This doesn’t bode well for them. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  6. Can someone remind me why a Apple/Sony Merger is a bad idea again? I know it came up here before awhile back…

    They each want to play in the others space, merging and consolidating their markets would get us to personal device nirvana, and cripple Microsoft/Dell long term.

    There could be PRO Apple Macs for highend and video computing. and Consumer Sony Macs for Joe Schmo that currently doen’t think of Apple when buying a new Dell.

    Actually, aside from people that have Macs now, who really cares what the name is… I think if the new company sold all Sony products (with Steve running the show of course), I would be more than happy to buy, and the marketing would be many times easier… Sony even has a presence now in Enterprise space with Tape Drives and such…

  7. I think this is good, and a healthy sign of Apples vision. In the end maybe other companies will try and go this route too. Apple has a HUGE lead right now that seams to get bigger as time passes. Sony is dependant on several other companies getting it together with them, like MS. Will MS share Sony’s vision? Who knows…

  8. “‘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.”

    Why is Sony’s proprietary format any more flexible than any other, WMA included? And how can you “mix and match” components that use entirely different codecs? Unless companies converge to a standard or cross-license their proprietary approaches, this simply won’t happen.

  9. Regarding the Beta vs VHS analogy, the best way in the long run to make sure that Apple wins on this is to have the same situation develop as was present there. Namely, everyone should be on AAC/Fairplay but Sony. I still think that Apple should start to open up the format at some point and get everyone on board.

  10. Microsoft will want more than thier fare share of this market and they will not play nice with SONY. If SONY is dependant on M$, they are in trouble. Apple has the advantage here due to the fact they control all aspects. And who in their right mind would trade in an iPod for a MiniDisc player. I had a MiniDisc player and is did a fine job playing music and recording, but I don’t want to carry MiniDiscs everywhere I go.

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