Why Apple should buy Sony

“Every three months, Apple’s quarterly earnings release triggers speculation about what Apple could or should do with its giant cash hoard. At last count (Q3 2017), ‘Apple’s cash position,’ according to its SEC filings, amounted to $262 billion,” Frederic Filloux writes for Monday Note. “To put things in perspective, with that amount of money, Apple could acquire General Electric, Samsung or Royal Dutch Shell.”

Filloux writes, “For Apple, why would acquiring Sony make sense?”

#1 Cornering the imaging sensor supply

#2 Access to Sony’s film, TV shows, and music catalog

#3 Connecting the PlayStation ecosystem to the iPhone

#4 Miscellaneous: “There are scores of components in the Sony empire that could benefit the Apple product line,” Filloux writes. “To name but a few: Sony TV sets, which could be a great fit to the Apple TV box; Sony’s VR gear to be integrated with the iPhone; or a lineup of monitors based on Sony products.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sony’s market value is currently just under $47.66 billion. It would be a doable acquisition, although it’d be playing in a completely different league (Apple’s dollar record is some $3 billion for Beats).

As Playstation Vue users, though — that’s Sony’s horribly-named streaming service which we use via an Apple TV app, not a video game console — the marriage of Apple TV with Playstation Vue is certainly intriguing. There are, of course, myriad other synergies, but imagining the integration of the two multinational corporations and their cultures is daunting to say the least.

Exit quote:

I used to say that Apple should be the Sony of this business, but in reality, I think Apple should be the Apple of this business. — Steve Jobs, 1998


  1. I really have a fond nostalgia for the Sony of old. I’d support Apple acquiring Sony so it still has considerable autonomy. I’d be devastated if Apple did to Sony what Microsoft did to Nokia.

    1. Sony has an ethos which is quite at odds with Apple’s and would be a very bad fit with Apple. We often see stories along the line of “Apple should buy XXX”, but with they exception of Beats, Apple doesn’t buy companies that people have heard of and certainly not large corporations.

      Sony is a company that was once a market leader with a tremendous reputation twenty years ago, but has fobbed off poor products onto their customers in recent years. I have to use a lot of Sony broadcast equipment and it’s nothing like as good as it used to be. In my home I have a Sony Bravia TV and it has a train wreck of a user interface. When you switch it on, it’s about 15 seconds before it will respond to the remote control ( which is longer than my 1950s tube TV took to warm up ) and if the last user had been watching with the volume turned up, you’ll get blasted with high volume sound until it lets you turn it down. All functions are slow to operate and it often responds to a button press with “Please wait” and then does nothing and forgets you ever asked it to do anything. When entering text for a programme search, the displayed keyboard is laid out in alphabetical order, but when you look on the internet, the displayed keyboard is QUERTY layout.

      It’s as though twenty different teams came up with development ideas and they all got shoved into one product and shipped, hoping it might be good enough, with nobody looking at how all the elements worked together or even if they all worked together. I don’t think I’ve ever had a product so poorly designed in my life and I’ve had more than my share of crappy products.

      It’s also worth bearing in mind that Sony has been hostile towards the idea of Mac compatibility in their products for many years. I once contacted Sony asking if there was any workaround to use one of their pro-audio products with a Mac and was told that nobody in pro-audio uses Macs ( which couldn’t be further from the truth ) and if I’m stuck with a Mac, I should try running Windows on it.

      I’m not surprised that commentators write that Apple should buy Sony, but I’d be horrified if Apple ever showed any interest in doing so.

      1. Gotta agree…Sony used to make great stuff. I recall the old saying, you won’t get fired for buying Sony products. Their Trinitron monitors were the best and lasted forever. Then Sony began cheapening its products to reduce costs and the decline began.

        Sony owns media content that could be valuable to Apple. Apple might also be able to leverage Playstation in some form, although it could easily update AppleTV to serve as a game console, if it wanted. The Playstation games could be useful. But I think that the Nintendo games would be better, especially for iOS.

        Overall, the story for Apple acquiring Sony is not compelling to me. There are much better targets. Nintendo is one of those, imo. A major multimedia conglomerate might be another – give Apple some control over a major media library and products under development.

    2. … and thats the problem 75% of Sony would be a drain on Apple hey much of that is already a drain on Sony its hardly the leader and money maker it used to be. The breaking up of that company would probably create anger in Japan and indeed beyond that Apple would be unlikely to recover from. Its difficult to see anyway that they could get what they want from the Company without the that toxic aftermath. Imagine if the new new Campus two has seriously led to the company taking its eye off the ball I dread to think what might happen even if decided that toxic risk was worth it as they laboured to split and sell off bits and pieces, closed down others and tried to run the bits they wanted. Sends a shiver down my spine.

      Probably far better to use its weight to push for deals and even joint ventures if necessary in ways that Jobs wanted to do but of course in those days Sony was still the giant in the meeting room. Today its very different.

  2. No, Apple does not need to buy Disney or Sony. Apple is being less than stellar as it is.

    What would make a lot of sense would be Sirius/XM- a couple of years ago when it was cheap. These days it is about $25 Billion (US).

    They have existing contracts for all manner of content, existing stations set up, distribution to almost every car and truck made recently, the ability to reach even remote areas and a telematics business that does not get a lot of attention.

    Then there is the last mile (internet). Sirius XM has a busload of satellite capacity that could be used in any number of imaginative ways to deliver Apple content to consumers and bypass the TelCos and ISPs.

    Sirius XM could be rebranded in whole or part as iTunes Radio with the Beats One channel added to the mix. Additional channels could be sublet (rented) to news organizations that want national distribution. There could even be two tiers- one free (ad supported) and another subscription only premium content. The potential for monetization is considerable.

  3. Sony is interesting, but it carries a lot of baggage. If Apple bought Sony it would be best to strip out the good parts, then take the remainder public. This might actually be good for Sony by giving them a fresh start. They make a zillion types of cables, connectors, batteries, headphones, radios, cameras, camcorders, professional gear and much more. Apple wants no part of that.

    If you visit Japan, go to the Sony store in Ginza and you will get a feel for the range of products they make.


  4. Years ago Steve Jobs love Sony laptops so much the made a version of then OS? to run on it & went to Japan to show it to Sony CEO on his private golf course. Apple wanted Sony to make licensed versions of Macs. Sony CEO was not impressed… buy them. Strip the beast of all the good things you need & sell off the rest to the scavengers of their cercass. Sony PC business has failed.

    1. Any OS in a Sony TV has got to be a vast improvement over the crap they put in there themselves.

      I’ve given up on the smart TV elements of my Sony TV because they are so utterly useless. If I want to stream programming, or use internet services, I use an iPad and view it on the Sony.

      I would buy an Apple TV to provide a better front end for my TV, but as last time I checked, there still wasn’t a TVOS app available for 4oD ( the most important British streaming service after BBC iPlayer ), so in order to view channel 4’s streaming, I still need to use a Mac or an iPad.

  5. NO. Sony’s work culture has deteriorated into what I call ‘Marketing-As-Managment Hell’. Apple needs and wants no part of it. Plus, Sony is a distinctly Japanese company, despite the worldwide presence and mix of non-Japanese leadership

    What Apple MIGHT want is some of its creative developers. But after enduring Marketing-As-Management, I suspect they’re thoroughly demoralized, which may not be recoverable.

    So what’s left? Maybe some Sony IP (intellectual property). Otherwise, I’d expect Apple will just carefully walk around the as they continue to degrade and destroy themselves.

    PlayStation? No Apple interest.

    Sony media? Not an Apple expertise by any means. Leave it to the experts. License the results for distribution.

    Imaging sensors? Obviously, that’s Apple territory. So just buy that.

    Apple could acquire General Electric, Samsung or Royal Dutch Shell.

    Maybe the fabrication & some limited R&D from Samsung.

    General Electric? Run the hell away. Shite company.

    Royal Dutch Shell? That’s a joke. Haha. Amusing.

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