Sony readies Apple ‘killers’ – yet again

Apple Online Store“Threatened by Apple Inc.’s growing stable of portable devices, Sony Corp. is developing a new lineup of handheld products, including a smart phone capable of downloading and playing PlayStation games, according to people familiar with the matter,” Daisuke Wakabayashi and Yukari Iwatani Kane report for The Wall Street Journal.

“The Japanese electronics giant also has a project under way to develop a portable device that blurs distinctions among a netbook, an e-reader and a PlayStation Portable, or PSP. The device is designed to compete against multifunction products such as Apple’s coming iPad tablet, these people said,” Wakabayashi and Kane report. “Both the new smart phone and the multifunction device are expected to work with Sony’s online media platform, due to launch later this month in the U.S. as the company’s answer to Apple’s iTunes.”

“The new products are targeted for launch in 2010, although many details such as price and certain specifications have yet to be finalized, these people said,” Wakabayashi and Kane report. “Sony’s media platform, temporarily named Sony Online Service, will offer many of the same movies, television shows and music already available on iTunes. But the company aims to differentiate its service by allowing a wide range of devices to tap into its catalog of games, mainly older titles released for the original PlayStation console.”

Wakabayashi and Kane report, “The new smart phone and other coming portable devices are critical elements of Chief Executive Howard Stringer’s turnaround plan.”

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, Sir Howard Stringer is using the same turnaround plan as the one tried by Captain Edward Smith. Except way slower and with much less turning.

Wakabayashi and Kane continue, “The new devices are meant to counter Apple and its wide range of products that connect to its iTunes media platform. Apple’s iPod Touch and iPhone are pushing into the portable-gaming market inhabited by Sony’s PSP, while the iPad tablet is expected to disrupt the nascent e-reader market where the Sony Reader has already sold one million units.”

MacDailyNews Take: Disrupt? Okay, but let’s be clearer: Apple’s iPad will obliterate the nascent e-reader market and outsell Sony Reader’s rather anemic unit sales total within a few days.

Wakabayashi and Kane continue, “Sony was forced in February to slash its full-year PSP shipment targets by a third. Sales of the PSP Go—the latest version of its handheld, which doesn’t use packaged discs and only plays downloaded games—have been slow, hurt by the PSP Go’s hefty price tag. It costs $250, or $80 more than the PSP model that uses game discs.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Looks like it’s almost time for Sony’s annual ass-kicking. It’s a good thing for Sony that Apple doesn’t make TVs.


  1. Reflecting on Steve Job’s presentation when launching the iPad, he began by redefining Apple as a company that now sits best in the mobilie devices sector and then proceeded to throw some rivals logos on screen.

    He was serving notice on these companies. He marked them as targets as he went on to launch the paradigm altering iPad that impacts each company’s product portfolio.

    We now learn that he even had Amazon scrambling DURING the persentation to try to shore up its position with publishers.

    Ever since then, whenever I read any piece on these rivals playing either ‘catch-up with hastily cobbled vapour-offering’ as above or some snide remark served up by a CEO who has been shamed as inept and flat-footed or otherwise trounced by Apple, I just can’t seem to get that lyric “I’d rather be a hammer than a nail” out of my head…

    Apple is a leader and not a follower.

    It’s the hammer that rivals have now come to dread and CEOs in non-competing companies (per Fortune) so admire…

    (*El Condor Pasa by Simon & Garfunkel)

  2. No need for Apple to make a TV. But Apple could license a special TV OS and leverage Apple TV and other Apple hardware into the equation.

    Apple cant possibly be responsible for manufacturing all the worlds most popular devices. There has to be partnerships somewhere down the line.

    Of course the OS would not be full Snow Leopard but the ease of use would be recognisably Apple with the Apple Logo appearing on screen at start up or waking from sleep.

  3. A HDTV made by Apple means you can control it with just your mental thought or gestures in the air. Flip channel, adjust volume, heck even switch inputs by mere thought or gestures in the air. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. I’m not concerned about any of this kind of rhetoric.

    Ever notice that for years various companies have been telling everybody they are developing the iPod Killer this, or the iPhone killer that, or the iSomething killer whatever.

    While Apple says nothing, and just goes about doing what it does.

    When (if) these companies finally get a clue, they will shut up about what they’re planning.

    Then, I’ll get concerned.

  5. Sony?

    I’ve been mostly buying Panasonic / Technics products for the last 20 years…

    The last Sony device I ever bought was a rack-mountable MD recorder. I’m still pissed about that ATRAC encryption. Sony should have made those darn things copy-able.

    In the words of Marlon Brando, “It could’ve been a contender…”

    MaWo: ‘poor’. As in, “Sony’s judgement.”

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