Apple embarrassing Sony as iPods take Japan by storm

“Juliana Sasaki did not bother checking out Sony Corp’s digital music player in Tokyo before buying her green iPod mini. ‘I knew Sony and other companies had MP3 players, but they can’t beat the mini,’ says Sasaki, a language teacher. ‘I went straight to the Apple store. The mini is so cute.’ In Japan, home to four of the five top electronics companies by sales, advance orders made Apple Computer Inc’s iPod mini the top-selling portable player three weeks before its July 24 release. It still is, China Daily reported Monday,” Desmond Hutton reports for Bloomberg News.

“Tokyo-based Sony’s embarrassment at Apple’s hands is another setback for the company that in 1979 invented the world’s first portable music player, the Walkman. Sony’s profit from consumer electronics has fallen in five of the past six years as Sharp Corp and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co grabbed the digital initiative with flat-screen televisions and DVD players,” Hutton reports. “‘Sony was the pioneer with the Walkman,’ says Alexander Shalash, who manages US$120 million in global technology stocks including Apple shares, for Swissca Portfolio Management in Zurich. ‘This time they’re late. There are no alternatives to the iPod right now.'”

Full article here.


  1. Actually there are no alternatives to the Macintosh right now, and the world seems to be waking up to this.

    Vindication rules, esp. when it’s something that will make the world better!

  2. I agree. Just think about all thoes people in the uk waiting for cash. If the world had already woke up to Apple these would be out shoping right now. LONG LIVE THE MAC, LONG LIVE APPLE!

  3. I agree. Just think about all thoes people in the uk waiting for cash. If the world had already woke up to Apple these would be out shoping right now. LONG LIVE THE MAC, LONG LIVE APPLE!

  4. above all this underscores sony’s arrogance in the market. The Playstation beat the crap out of the lame N64.. and Xbox hasn’t yet built up the library to compete (give it time) but Sony has been soooo slow to react here.. Reminds me of IBM back in the 80’s..

    Come on.. They’re trotting out the sales figures of the WALKMAN from like the past 30 years? The iPod’s been out for like 3 years.. of which half that has been in obscurity..

    Sony gets no respect and should be heralded as the most overrated Electronics company out there…

    BUT most of what they do really kicks ass.. TV’s, Camcorders, etc.. I don’t want to take any of that away from them.. really.. I can’t believe they were so stupid with the MP3 player issue (until i remember Sony Music and Sony Pictures..)

    Sony has done it to themselves.. They’ll claim the PSP is gonna threaten the iPod (by copying it at every turn) but it’s really not.. the PSP does too many things to beat the iPod at what it does best, music.

  5. The Japanese iTMS is supposed to be open for business March 2005. Only a few more months! The Apple Store in Ginza is always packed. The whole first floor is dedicated to the iPod and its’ accessories. Go Apple!

  6. Why does Sony have to catch up ? Sony is king of the game console market, isn’t that enough. Everyone should spend time and energy perfecting what they’re good at. Not making a half assed attempt at something just to compete. Remember, you may lose if you compete.

  7. Interesting how SONY proudly tells everyone about how many Walkmans they sold…


    A German guy successfully sued SONY earlier this year after 10 years in court – HE invented the Walkman and got $50 million from SONY to prove it!

    LOL – makes me laugh how SONY built their whole company on a device they never even invented!

    Just like Microsoft!!

  8. The ironic thing is Jobs approached the Chairman of Sony before the iTunes stores opened and offered a partnership.

    Sony turned them down.

    Not only did they not show up to the party, they turned down an invitation from the host himself.

    And that, above all, shows how stupid Sony is. (That, and maybe not including the ability to play MP3 files in their big “iPod Killer.” That was beyond moronic.)

  9. i don’t own much sony stuff… but they are excellent at what they do. They make some of the best phones… Sony Ericcson rock… and they offer excellent designed products. Their stuff is cutting edge, and like Apple, like doing things proprietary… which is probably why jobs admires Sony so much. They are in a MUCH bigger field than Apple, in reality, Apple only does a few things well. Apple may be a beautiful tree… but Sony’s an Orchard.

    If you look at the range of products that Sony creates, instead of focusing on the small niche products like ipod (i personally have never had use for a portable CD player, or walkman, so i would never “Need” an ipod.) Sony does quite well.

  10. Sony should discontinue their music download site and re-brand an iPod. The Walkman is ancient history and I wonder why they associate their hard drive-based music players with it. Whatever deal was offered to them by Apple should have been accepted. Now they are wasting money trying to establish a non-existent user-base for their ATRAC players.

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