Beleaguered Sony sinks to $1.3 billion quarterly loss on Windows PC expenses

“Sony Corp. sank to a 138 billion yen ($1.3 billion) quarterly loss, hit by costs from selling its personal computer business, and is forecasting more red ink as it struggles to execute a long-promised turnaround,” Yuri Kageyama reports for The Associated Press.

“The Tokyo-based maker of the PlayStation 4 game machine, Bravia TVs and Walkman digital player also reported Wednesday a loss of 128.4 billion yen ($1.3 billion) for the fiscal year through March 2014, about three times its loss of 41.5 billion yen the previous year,” Kageyama reports. “It forecast a 50 billion yen ($490 million) loss for the year ending March 2015 as overall sales are expected to be flat without its Vaio PC business.”

“The PC-related losses are expected to continue this fiscal year, totaling 80 billion yen ($784 million), on top of the 92 billion yen ($900 million) for the fiscal ended March 2014,” Kageyama reports. “Sony has lost much of the brand cachet that stemmed from once being at the cutting edge of consumer electronics. In recent years it has fallen behind in digital recorders and flat-panel TVs while also facing competition from a host of new players that can make appliances at lower costs… It has never managed to take full advantage of having both electronics and entertainment businesses under its wing. In contrast, Apple has succeeded with iTunes and its App Store, which in turn helped the popularity of its hardware such as the iPhone and iPad.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “russ” for the heads up.]

47 Comments

  1. What can possibly turn Sony around? They are not in the relevant game anymore, no products that resonate with the public anymore and it’s corporate culture not hungry enough. Others like Apple have filled in the gap. I used to love Sony, but now having had problems with their stuff and no satisfaction have been added to the same sh*tlist Samsung (and others) is on.

    1. Well apparently they have done a good job with PS4.

      But I wouldn’t want to be in the Sony boardroom when Apple announces and AppleTV with a gaming app store. They better install some jump proof windows now.

      1. I don’t think gaming alone will help or save Sony. That could change overnight with a compelling enough home TV system with gaming apps such as Apple is rumored to be developing. I agree with you. (Maybe they could borrow the building suicide nets technology from Foxconn if that happens.)

        I feel sorry for Sony, they’re getting left out in the consumer cold. The way consumer devices are being developed today is a whole new bag. I think it would have continued to challenge Steve Jobs. The iPhone was the tech shot heard ’round the world and the race is on.

        1. Seems like only yesterday tat SJ was putting pressure on Sony to cooperate with them on consumer technology because Apple saw it as a way of becoming relevant again. Sony of course didn’t want to know, they saw Apple as weak back then, a liability to be associated with and offering them nothing of worth to be involved with. The fear of helping Apple to become a competitor was probably hardly a second thought I suspect. How things change.

    2. if they just focussed on making the best smartphone cameras in the world…

      that would be a huge win… they already are doing well in the iPhones.

  2. As I blustered over at the Guardian regarding this news:

    Sony suffers from Marketing-As-Management. Boot their CEO and replace him with a creativity oriented management team and Sony will have an opportunity to survive as a creativity company. Keep the guy they have now and watch the Kodak Syndrome destroy the company.

    [You’ll be sorry if you ask me to elaborate. I can rant about this phenomenon for days]

    1. “Boot their CEO and replace him with a creativity oriented management team and Sony will have an opportunity to survive as a creativity company.”

      That’s what a lot of people are saying about Apple.

      1. What people? Idiot people. You’re attempting to equate the two companies resulting in classic cognitive dissonance. IOW: The comparison is for crazy people.

        Apple continues to thrive. But ‘people’ of some sort continue to proclaim “APPLE DOOM!” just as the always have. Always:

        http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/death_knell

        Meanwhile, obviously I kick Apple in the backside every time I catch them pulling a whopping blunder. Don’t I. Enough of this conversation. Back to boring hype about Beat…

    1. Is that why the 60″ LED TV Sony sold me to replace another defective Sony TV only lasted 17 months before the display went bad? And then they refused to do anything about it because it only had a one year warranty? (At the time they didn’t sell extended warranties. They do now, but most TV’s sold you end up with a minimum 2 year warranty either from the store or by using a credit card.). No more Sony for me thanks.

      1. A Sony personal radio I bought for my partner a few years back to replace the ancient Sony one she was using was almost impossible to use, the interface was that unintuitive. Pretty plasticky too, more like a Sanyo than a Sony product. She ‘lost’ it soon afterwards, so she said but still uses the old one it was supposed to replace. They clearly have no idea how to go from 80s technology which they had perfected to modern consumer technology where ease of use and capability (should) combine seamlessly which seems to confuse them as much as theirs confuses us.

        1. You can buy extended warranties NOW, but not THEN. This was a deal direct from Sony and they had no extended warranties available then (I’m sure people screaming about it changed that.)

          Anyway what kind of not-cheap TV doesn’t last longer than 17 months? Especially from Sony who’s supposed to pride themselves on quality? Fool me once but you ain’t gonna fool me twice. Any 4K TV I get won’t be Samsung OR Sony so matter how beautiful. I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE!!! I work in the entertainment industry as well and not a fan of Sony broadcast camera equipment design either. They need a Jonny Ives to shake things up there and let the old executive farts out to pasture as they’re ruining the company.

      2. I bought a Sony bedside clock radio with iPhone Dock a few years ago. Setting the time and the alarm was a major exercise unintuitive frustration. I mean COME ON SONY!!! Should I really need a user manual to set a damn clock???!!!

        1. Simple intuitive design separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls, the cats from the kittens and the dogs from the puppies. I think people are tired of letting the high IQ moron engineers design this stuff, Apple’s success is proof of that.

  3. If there’s one huge acquisition that would make sense for Apple, it would be Sony. If Apple ever plans on entering further into the CE market, buying up Sony would be an extremely smart thing to do – even if those plans are 5 to 10 years down the road.

    Sony’s IP and R&D labs would be worth the cost alone. Not to mention Apple would also gain an entertainment production division as well which could help bolster their AppleTV content plans.

    1. Absolutely not! The acquisition cost would be huge, only to buy something that is so mired in red ink that you essentially would pay for it again before you made money. And for what? Sony’s R&D labs can’t be that great if their current products are any indication.

      1. Really? Since when did R&D have anything to do with product execution? Ever hear of Xerox? They had THE R&D lab of the 70’s and squandered just about everything that came out of those labs, because the management didn’t want to upset their bread and butter business – the copiers.

        I’m pretty sure the same can be said about Microsoft as well. They probably had world class R&D divisions (they certainly had the money for them), but were so mismanaged for the past 15 years they didn’t know how to execute.

        If there’s one thing Apple excels at over everything other company, it’s being able to cut tech back to its core and build products up around it. This is Steve’s legacy to the company – it was what made him a visionary; seeing a diamond through all the shit.

        Just as Apple before Steve Jobs came back and were failing, Sony probably has a lot of extremely intelligent, creative and capable people working for them that are being held back by committees and clueless managers afraid of change.

        For $20-$25 Billion Apple gains immediate entrance into a lot of areas where they’re already headed. They don’t have to jump into everything right away. Keep Sony separate and slowly cut off all the fat until what’s left are lean, nimble, self-sustaining divisions within the company that can then be absorbed into Apple. (The patents and IP alone would be worth several billions; wireless communications, image sensors, display technology, semiconductor fabrication, etc. Not to mention all their IP included in many international standards – would be a great patent arsenal to make Samsung think twice about using SEPs again.)

        Sorry, but spending $25 billion buying Sony makes much more sense than paying $3 billion for Beats.

        1. Apple would have to close down about 70% of the electronics business to create the focus that Apple is good at though some might claim is a problem even for it due top its increasing size. That effort alone would probably traumatise Apple itself.

          As for the research Labs I think you answered your own question re Xerox and Sony. Xerox produced great research but little was relevant to its own focused business, it wasn’t supposed to be as Xerox back then thought of pure research as an end in itself. It wasn’t and Xerox was never in a position to exploit most of it, for example Xerox personal computers were never an option, even IBM ultimately failed there.

          Sony labs Im sure do some great work but Sony did try to exploit all the varied stuff coming out of it even to the point of speakers that roll around in time to the music. So 2 extremes that each were disasters for each company. Unfocused research outside of Universities and similar organisations are generally bad ideas that stop companies from focusing on what they are good at. Sony has come up with little true innovation outside of blu ray which incidentally was acquired from a British University so not even their research. Even that is like inventing the ultimate horse and cart circa 1900.

          Apple needs to expand into other areas but not in a scatter gun fashion and not by trying to make a go of the broad electronics business that is destroying most other once great brands in that business. The only parts of Sony that would be of true use to Apple would be the gaming side (though specialist games consoles may be just another ultimate horse and cart) and the content side which would allow Apple to enter areas that would also expand its existing and proposed products and create the true potential that no doubt they have in their own labs.

  4. Building on what Michael said. I somewhat agree. What Apple should do is buy Sony, sell off each of the divisions individually sell the electronics to LG, Game Console to nintindo, sign long term licensing agreements with itself (Apple) for the music and movies, then sell that off two get what they want and get all their money back.

  5. Sony’s problem is that it spread itself to thin in to many areas and there is absolutuley not communication or coordination between them all. They made a huge mistake by going into the music and entertainment business and took their eyes off the prize.

    Surprizingly hey made a huge breakthrough in cameras lately and they need to hone in on their product focuses and drop most of theri third grade crap and obviously the pc business.

    Sony pro and consumer Audio/Video and Electronics used to be the finest quality build thatyou could buy, the infamous and unbeatable Trinitron was the best color ever seen and the Sony empire thrived with that product mix under Akio Morita.

    Sony was Steve Jobs’ inspiration and aspiration.

    Apple is now the Sony of this century .

    1. There is also the veneration of the elder managers. You don’t go against them.

      So what does a younger creative marketing, design or engineering guy do when the elder manager doesn’t even really comprehend opportunistic new ideas.

    2. Yes sad that they are now selling off so much of their TV business which was their pinnacle of innovation but now has fallen behind upstart Samsung and lost money hand over fist.

      On a different theme I wonder what the reaction would be if Apple bought that company, closed or sold off 70% plus of it to exploit the bits it wanted, I suspect that Apple love in Japan not to mention bad publicity World wide would seriously damage its retain and even loyal support. Asset strippers don’t usually get a good press especially when you already have a press trying to destroy you already. Imagine the reaction in the rest of Asia where Apple needs to expand and gain alliances. No where is a bigger picture more relevant than here.

  6. In my younger years I lived in Asia for years.

    Besides the obvious economic reasons like Japan being eclipsed by lower cost competitors like China or even lately places like Vietnam there is also cultural reason of the struggles of Japanese companies today.

    A lot of growth for tech companies is selling into Asia today the vast bulk of Apple’s growth is due to increased China sales.

    But Chinese, Koreans etc won’t buy Japanese if there is an alternative. This is due to the unbelievably horrific Japanese war against Asia (called WW2 Pacific in the West, but the war in asia really started in the 1930s). Tens of millions of Chinese, Koreans and other asians were butchered, enslaved or abused. From the Rape of Nanking to the keeping of tens of thousands of women slaves as ‘comfort women’ for the soldiers. The Nazis were boy scouts compared to the Imperial Japanese army. One illustrative example: Entire villages were wiped out, tens of thousands killed in the areas where Chinese peasants helped the handful of downed USA airmen of the Doolittle raid . Just for helping a few airmen the Japanese wiped out entire districts.

    Unlike Germany which made reparations (they denoted big chunks of cash etc to Israel) , apologies and kept Concentration Camps as reminders, the Japanese were the opposite. With giant american funding and backing after the war because the USA was more worried about communism the Japanese never had to apologize, almost NO Japanese war criminals who did stuff to Asians (as opposed to Americans) were ever punished, even today Japanese politicians including Prime Ministers brush off the ‘comfort women’ issue as ‘needed for the war effort’. Actually many war criminals ended up running major Japanese companies.

    The Japanese keep a sacred war memorial the Yasukuni shrine were over a 1000 war criminals are venerated. Imagine if the Germans kept statues of Hitler, Bormann etc and every year the Chancellor of Germany placed flowers at their SHRINES!! (imagine how the Chinese, Malaysians, Koreans etc think about this!)

    Younger Japanese today do understand this at all as their schools teach a distorted version of the war where they are the VICTIMS. Every year big remembrances are held for Hiroshima etc (this revisionist idea of the war has been so successful that even Americans and other Westerners join in Hiroshima remembrances yet NOBDOY in the West does Nanking day… ! )

    So the Asians are having their revenge today by not buying a lot of Japanese goods if alternatives are available.

    1. reading my post again I have to clarify that I do not wish a racist impression against the Japanese today , I just know some Asian history and it’s a bugbear with me that the understanding of it is so distorted today. So many articles on the current Japanese economic problems do not mention these historical issues.

      I like many aspects of Japanese culture and actually took Japanese art and architecture courses in University.

    2. some typos:
      “Younger Japanese today do understand”
      or course is “Younger Japanese today do NOT understand”

      others I won’t correct as meaning seems clear

      1. Generally your take is reasoned and correct the hate there is indeed beyond what we can imagine here in the West, their treatment of our soldiers is bad enough to imagine and for political reasons we have massaged somewhat.

        I do however think that remembrance for Hiroshima is surely understandable for the Japanese, I wouldn’t deny them that.

        1. I don’t wish to be argumentative as your post was polite and supportive but I’ll to amplify:

          I don’t mind them remembering Hiroshima or even fighting for ‘world peace’ and banning nuclear war etc.

          BUT if you study Asian politics Japanese politicians and groups have in a concerted and calculated effort spanning years to SPIN Hiroshima Nagasaki to convince their own people that WW2 or to them the ‘War to free Asia and form the loving ‘Asian Co Prosperity Sphere’ was that Japan was the victim (i.e the Japanese heroically tried to help their Asian neighbours and ‘free’ them from Western colonialism but were bombed for their trouble. Note Singapore, Hong Kong, Burma , Java, Vietnam, Philippines etc were all Western colonies. ). Most younger Japanese today DO NOT KNOW THEY WERE THE AGGRESSORS! (much less perpetrators of war crimes of massive scale) . Japanese kids are taught they invaded the Philippines and attacked Pearl Harbour to FREE the Philippines from American colonialism but unfortunately failed and was Atom Bombed! Hiroshima remembrances sadly is part of the determined effort of decades to white wash the war.
          ( I would be OK if they did Hiroshima remembrances but also say some apologies for atrocities but it’s one sided)

          I give you an example from a few years ago were the Japanese PM denies the comfort women issue:

          Telegraph UK 2007
          “Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, provoked fury yesterday by saying that the so-called “comfort women” were not coerced into becoming sexual slaves of the former Japanese Imperial Army.
          Up to 200,000 women worked in brothels run by the Japanese military during the Second World War, most of them seized from Korea, China and other Asian countries occupied by Japan. Some Dutch women, captured when the Japanese overran Dutch colonies in Asia, were also forced into sexual slavery.

          Mr Abe’s comments to Japanese reporters late on Thursday defied the widely accepted version of history. “There was no evidence to prove there was coercion as initially suggested. That largely changes what constitutes the definition of coercion, and we have to take it from there,” he said.

          —–
          Note that is in 2007! JAPANESE POLITICIANS AND LEADERS HAVE PERPETRATED SIMILAR MISTRUTHS ON ALL KINDS OF ISSUES OF THE WAR FOR DECADES SINCE THE WAR ENDED! (Can you imagine the German chancellor saying something like that about Auschwitz … ? ).

          —-
          I apologize for my strident tone, I emphasize to make my point across. LIke I said I admire many aspects of Japanese civilization.
          (Like who doesn’t like Hokusai, Kurosawa, Studio Ghibli or Utraman .. well maybe not Ultraman…. 🙂 )

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.