“Shamed but not yet defeated, Sony Corp. says it can no longer sit back and watch as Apple Computer Inc. gives it an ignominious beating in the markets for portable digital audio players and online music download services,” The Asahi Shimbun reports. “To that end, Sony has established Connect Company, a division exclusively tasked with developing products and services to rival Apple and its immensely popular iPod players and iTunes Music Store service. For Sony, which virtually created the market for portable audio players with the Walkman, the new division represents an attempt to regain lost ground to latecomer Apple.”
“‘It’s a business that we should have carved out ahead of our rivals,’ a Sony executive said in reference to the iPod’s success, echoing a view shared by the company’s leaders,” The Asahi Shimbun reports. “Connect Company was established on Nov. 1 and brings together Sony experts from Japan and the United States. The division will enter into operations early next year and will eventually employ 300 to 400 workers. Engineers will work on new portable audio players equipped with hard disk drives like the iPod or with computer memory chips. The first product is expected to hit shelves by the end of next year. Connect Company will also operate music download services similar to iTunes that will be personal computer- and cellphone-compatible. In the future, the division is expected to offer video and game distribution services.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: While Sony is a major global force, they have shown little to prove that they even grasp the concept of the portable digital audio player and online music download service market, better known to the world as “iPod+iTunes.” To be planning to introduce their first product by the end of next year stretches the concept of “too late to market” to its outer limits. Competition is good. It will spur Apple forward. It just doesn’t seem that Sony will be the company pushing Apple in this market. “Much talk and little action” seems to be Sony’s response to Apple’s total market domination. Imagine if Apple and Sony joined forces, with Sony making iTunes Music Store-compatible players and Mac OS X licensed Power PC-based hardware. Now, that would be something of real interest.