Sony to announce turnaround plan on September 22

“Japan’s Sony Corp. said on Monday it would unveil a long-awaited restructuring plan on September 22, aimed at turning around the struggling electronics and entertainment giant,” Reuters reports.

“Sony, maker of Vaio PCs and PlayStation game machines, had said it would announce a new strategy in late September to reallocate resources, suggesting it would look to trim its product lineup or downsize poorly performing businesses. Chief Executive Howard Stringer, the first foreigner at the helm of the Japanese electronics conglomerate, President Ryoji Chubachi and Chief Financial Officer Nobuyuki Oneda are scheduled to attend the meeting,” Reuters reports.

“One area in need of repair is Sony’s television unit, which lost 25.7 billion yen on an operating basis in the past business year on weak sales of traditional cathode ray tube sets and sinking prices of liquid crystal display models,” Reuters reports. “The inventor of the Walkman is also trying to regain its footing in the portable music player market where it has been outmaneuvered by Apple Computer Inc. and its popular iPod device and iTunes online music store.”

Full article here.
Let’s hope Sony gets their act together and, if they do decide to concentrate on portable digital music and online music services, that they do them both well as the competition will be good for everyone, including Apple. While Apple is doing a fine job innovating right now, due to lack of competent competition, we’d hate to see them ever start to slip and slide the slope towards complacency (see Microsoft). We hope that a “new” Sony would stop copying of Apple and quit the Windows-only copy-protecting of non-Red Book-compliant CDs for starters, at least.

Related articles:
Sony’s new Windows-only ‘Connect Player’ bears eerie resemblance to Apple iTunes – September 09, 2005
Too little, too late? Sony getting killed by Apple in digital audio – September 09, 2005
Also-ran MP3 player makers miffed by Apple’s impossibly low price for iPod nano – September 09, 2005
Sony and Warner holding out on Apple iTunes Music Store Australia – September 08, 2005
Sony Connect President in wake of iPod nano: ‘we will accelerate our challenge’ to Apple iPod – September 08, 2005
Apple close to deal with Sony for ‘online music download service for Japanese iPod users’ – September 05, 2005
Bad news for Sony: millions worldwide choosing Apple iPods – August 22, 2005
Sony to combat music market ‘maestro’ Apple Computer with ‘Walkman Beans’ – August 18, 2005
Musicians stage mutiny against Sony, defiantly offer music via Apple’s iTunes Music Store – August 10, 2005
Apple’s Japan iTunes Music Store debut more bad news for Sony – August 04, 2005
Sony debuts US$199 1GB iPod shuffle killer, bills it ‘small as a pack of gum’ – July 06, 2005
Sony BMG and EMI try to force Apple to ‘open’ iPod with iPod-incompatible CDs – June 20, 2005


  1. “The inventor of the Walkman is also trying to regain its footing in the portable music player market where it has been outmaneuvered by Apple Computer Inc. and its popular iPod device and iTunes online music store.”

    I’m shaking in my little white earbuds.

  2. Sony got their a*s kicked in the VCR format wars and then learned from it when the CD was launched. Philips and Sony merged their efforts and launched the CD to great success. The morons running Sony these days (‘Sir’ Howard Stringer is the former Producer of the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather) weren’t around then and seem to have forgotten all of that. FairPlay/AAC is going to kick Sony’s a*s unless they get with the program.

  3. Shaking in your earbuds? Are you Apple, or are you a customer of Apple?

    I’d love for Sony to make a Walkman that would truly compete with the iPod. Creative (I’m gonna get flamed) seems to have done a good job with it’s Zen line. I was with a buddy this weekend that owns one (20Gig, white) and it works pretty good. The design (looks, feel) obviously wasn’t iPod quality, but the mechanics worked well.

  4. Now, as far as I can see… People who have invested in iPods have clearly made a choice of what type of format they are using for songs. The people who buy from the iTunes Music Store have also made a consious choice… how and why would they want to change formats? This is fairly complicated since we’re not just playing with propreitary DRM schemes (M$ or Apple, or Reals, whatever). There’s also the complication of a closed souce file type (WMV) and the open standard AAC.

    All I know, it I wanna iPod nano, to go with my already loved iPod 20G (3G).

    All IMHO


  5. SONY has gotten too many fingers in too many pies.

    They should get out of the music buisness and the portable player buisness.

    They should continue in the camera, video markets, the TV market they can play in, but need to restructure.

    SONY has become complacent, it’s a farmer company now since the walkman and the hunter companies like Apple and Samung have been eating at it’s fields.

    When your green your growing, and when your ripe your rotting.

  6. I’m not writing Sony off just yet. Let’s see where the market is in 12 months’ time. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Apple will still have a stranglehold on the market. It’s just that the numbers of “mp3” players sold is a fraction of the potential market and the dark side forces have only just begun their counterattack.

    I’ve done my bit with a 3rd gen. 20 gig model and the missus will be getting a Mini in October.

    Speaking of Sony, Apple iTunes Music Store is set to open in Australia on Oct. 3 minus Sony and Warner. About bloody time too. The article implied that Warner was close to signing with Apple. Then again there’s been more false dawns on this one than I care to count.

  7. The biggest problem facing Sony is that their various business units often have competing goals. The end result is that they keep shooting themselves in the foot (i.e. DRMed CDs, late to the online music party to begin with, not getting their artists on iTunes).

  8. Apple are not complacent right now and that is not what was written in MDN’s response above.

    What MDN do say is that Apple could become complacent without having any competition and in brackets the mention of Microsoft. I would love Apple to have decent competition from the likes of Sony in the mp3 portable player and online music download market because I’d hate to see Apple become just like Microsoft.

    That said bare in mind Apple has shown Microsoft like tendancies in the past.

  9. Sony needs to get out of the 85 things they do and focus on their PlayStation franchise. Otherwise, the X-Box will kick them as did the iPod. They need to decide who their friends are and clearly identify their enemies. Enemy number 1 is a company called Microsoft.

  10. Couldn’t help but picture a roomful of Sony executives standing around the conference table trying to chase their tails after reading the headline to this thread … brought a smile to my face. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  11. I wouldn’t have ever thought Apple was a complacent company.

    Even when they commanded a larger chunk of the personal computer market (back in the Apple ][ days), Apple still innovated with the Lisa and then the Mac.

    I don’t think they’ll sit on their laurels now, even if competition never appears. After all, they still have to compete with their own previously great products in order to keep selling products.

    As for Sony’s restructure, this is evidently a bad sign that the company is in serious trouble and if they believe restructuring is good for them, I certainly hope they don’t lose their better engineers at the cost of keeping poorer quality management and engineers (They should ditch the crappy engineers turning out those awful walkman products, and the managers signing them off as being “the next great thing from Sony”.)

  12. @ Macdude:

    I’m glad you don’t run my company – Sony’s media businesses (Film, Music, TV) and Playstation (software) are the only bits making any money at the moment.

    Actually, Sony need to move out of all the commodotised markets that they play in (like video recorders and even DVD players: hell, even PCs are a stupid market to play in when most of the money lands up either with Intel or MS) and focus on creating and selling products that can carry a price premium as a result of having a unique selling proposition: that’s more difficult than it sounds, because you have to have the guts to vacate national end-markets that are not mature enough to support premium quality products and potentially go back to a national distributor model.

    However, until Sony faces that reality, the media business is going to subsidise the CE business and Sony shareholders are going to carry on wondering why Apple is suddenly worth several billion dollars more than their older, more globally capable company.

  13. Sony needs to do something risky, like cut a deal with Apple to use Fairplay in it’s MP3 players in return for providing Apple with exclusive access to the Sony/BMG music library. They seem to act like they hold all the cards relative to Apple but right now they got squat.

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