Sony’s ex-CEO: Apple’s Steve Jobs would have probably liked to be Sony’s CEO

“Japan’s consumer electronics industry is dying, Sony’s former chief says,” Rory Cellan-Jones reports for BBC News.

“In a frank interview at the European Technology Round Table in Barcelona, Nobuyuki Idei explained what had gone wrong during his 10-year tenure at the helm of Sony,” Cellan-Jones reports. “Mr Idei ran Sony from 1995 to 2005 – a period when the Japanese giant’s fortunes suffered, with its finances faltering and rival products such Microsoft’s Xbox and Apple’s iPod eating into its reputation for world-beating innovation.”

Cellan-Jones reports, “Asked to explain why Sony had been caught out by the iPod’s success, he said that Apple chief Steve Jobs liked Sony and had studied its record carefully. ‘He’d have probably liked to be Sony’s CEO,’ he said.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Leveldown” for the heads up.]
In the past, Steve Jobs has made no secret of his admiration of the “old” Sony, when Sony was a good company. The mess that spreads rootkits, millions of bad fire-prone laptop batteries, perpetually-failing “iPod+iTunes killers,” copies Apple’s design aesthetics, can’t seem to ship the vastly-overpriced PS3, and continues to overcharge for it’s TVs in the face of superior offerings from the likes of Samsung is probably the last place Jobs would ever want to be. He already cleaned up one mess in the last decade, he probably would like to enjoy the fruits of his labor instead of trying to clean up the even bigger mess that is Sony. We’re no longer boycotting Sony, partly out of pity and party because they no longer sell anything worth buying. Sony wishes they could have Steve Jobs in charge.

Related articles:
Sony copies Apple Macbook with shockingly derivative VAIO N10 – September 20, 2006
Apple to recall 1.8 million Sony-made iBook G4, PowerBook G4 batteries – August 24, 2006
Newsflash: Sony says Walkman sales are slow – June 26, 2006
The unmitigated disaster story of Sony Connect – May 31, 2006
Judge grants final approval to Sony rootkit settlement – May 22, 2006
Sony bows to Apple with plan for AAC format compatibility – May 09, 2006
Recurring joke: Sony preps ‘iPod Killer’ – again – April 28, 2006
Sony postpones PlayStation 3 release until November due to Blu-ray delay – March 15, 2006
Apple iPod causes paradigm shift, home stereo makers like Sony to add iPod connectivity – March 01, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Sony’s Walkman Bean is cooked – February 13, 2006
Bear Stearns analyst: ‘Apple is becoming what Sony always wanted to be’ – January 27, 2006


  1. Lesson One from Sony:Never rest on your laurels. Remember the El-Cassette?

    I have a Bete Hi-Fi that STILL outperforms most VHS machines.

    These two are ying and yang-you have to have good products AND good market knowledge.

    I think “Grasshopper” Steve grasp this.

    MW:was. Enough said

  2. To Connor:
    Yeah, It’ll kick the XBox’s ass the same way that Vista has kicked OS X’s ass. (Panther, that is) Just curious, how do you kick the ass of a product by shipping two years later?

  3. Sony doesn’t have products worth buying?… Then Apple doesn’t either…

    Please, research a little before writing such nonsense, or some technical writer will be all over your case for a legitamate reason. Sony’s not the golden company it used to be, but they still can and do make some great products. Apple has about a 1/100th of the product portfolio so its efforts are more focused. Sony could probably trim back its portfolio and do better.

  4. Connor MacBook:

    How something will kick ass when it is almost vaporware?
    Wait until it is released.

    I haven’t seen anything impressive materialize yet, except for the specs.

    For everything else, meh!

  5. Sony still makes some of the best products out there for those willing to pay for them. THis is true for TVs (you can’t get a better picture than from a HD Sony CRT tv, even if you can’t hang it on a wall), cameras, and a lot of video products.

    Unfortunately, the current CEO won’t do what needs to be done, which is to dump the content divisions (music and movies), which are the divisions that distracted management from focusing on product engineering and activley obstructed Sony from entering the growth markets that they’ve missed such as digital music.

  6. Not to get into a whole fight about consoles here (it’s a pointless fight anyway) but the reason the PS3 has a very good chance of beating the Xbox is because of it’s userbase.

    Think about it: OS X is the best OS on the market and has been for over 5 years. But more people will still buy Vista (either seperately or with a new computer) simply because there are more brainless idiots in the world than smart people. The same will be true for the consoles; nobody in their right mind, with their own collections of games over the yeaqrs, make such a radical switch from the Playstation platform to the Xbox or visa-versa. Nobody is going to drop everything for no reason. The numbers will still be the same.

    That’s where there is a difference between consoles and OS’s– nobody offers a crossgrade of your Xbox or PS games, neither of them offer anything useful for getting work done, and no console will be widely unsupported because they are in the minority, and an evil corporation is imposing their “standards” upon them.

    If you’re saying the PS3 is overpriced, then you might as well be saying that Apple’s products are overpriced too. You pay a premium for the quality you get and a very feature-rich experience, just as you do with a Mac. Think about how much the Xbox 360 would cost if Microsoft didn’t sell it at a loss (with or without the HD-DVD player).

    Considering what has been seen, the Playstation 3 looks very promising, and it will be a cheap Blu-Ray player until the prices on those go down (in which the price of the PS3 will also drop from most likely). They’ve got alot of unique and impressive technologies going on in there, unlike M$, who made what honestly reminds me of a defective Power Mac G5. But that’s only my personal opinion.

    I guess regardless, it will be wait-and-see mentality amongst everyone, but I believe the numbers of the previous generation will repeat themselves.

    And don’t forget about the Wii either! I’m getting one!

  7. …..the Playstation 3 looks very promising, and it will be a cheap Blu-Ray player


    Actually No, If you read the above article that I linked to, it says that the Blu-Ray drive used in the PS3 WON’T play HD movies at all…

  8. I still like Sony electronics. I guess part of it is design aesthetics and past experience with their products.

    That said, Sony is suffering and needs to turn things around. I, for one, am rooting for them because I view MS as the bigger enemy.

    Blu-ray is better than HD-DVD, but then again Beta was better than VHS. But, Blu-ray is also causing delays and pricing problems for Sony with the PS3.

    Here’s to hoping Sony can turn things around. Maybe, they can work more with companies like Apple instead of making everything proprietary.

    And Sony, if you’re listening, why don’t you reduce the price on the Bravia XBR LCD TV I’ve been wanting and I’ll take one off your hands ; )

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