Struggling Sony looks to copy Apple

The company is focusing on selling expensive tablets, televisions and other high-end electronics. Sound familiar?

By Benzinga Aug 30, 2012 3:20PM
By Louis Bedigian

Sony (SNE) wants to sell consumers the most expensive products possible, including high-end tablets and an 84-inch 4K television that may sell for five figures.


It might sound like overkill, but it's part of the company's strategy to become more like its most successful competitor, Apple (AAPL). This is a role reversal for the two tech companies; at one point Apple co-founder Steve Jobs wanted his firm to be more like Sony.


"The whole strategy for Apple now is, if you will, to be the Sony of the computer business," Jobs told Fortune in November 1998. During that year, Sony was one of the world's largest tech manufacturers. PlayStation, the company's first console, had become the world's top home gaming device.


Four years later, Jobs told Time Magazine that he would "rather compete with Sony than compete in another product category with Microsoft (MSFT)." At that time, Sony had produced the No. 1 game console, PlayStation 2, and was only months away from releasing "Spider-Man," the year's top-performing film with a domestic gross of more than $400 million.


These days, the Japanese tech giant struggles to build products that are both profitable and hugely popular. As of June 30, Sony has sold more than 2 million PS Vita units, meeting the company's internal expectations. However, Apple sold 17 million iPads in just one quarter alone.


Sony hopes that it can imitate Apple's success by selling its own brand of high-end products, starting with a $399 tablet that looks a lot like Microsoft's first tablet, Surface.


Phil Molyneux, the president and COO of Sony's U.S. division, told ABC News that consumers can expect to see "more of this great innovation at the higher end and the more premium segment."


"We will put more emphasis there," he said.


Sony also hopes to profit by telling the story of Apple's founder. In 2011, the company acquired the film rights to the authorized Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson.


2Comments
Aug 30, 2012 4:10PM
avatar

well, that's what made the SONY reputation, high end, high quality electronics. It's where they need to be.

if they do, I'll go back to buying SONY products again.

 

Aug 30, 2012 10:49PM
avatar

Sony will do better now that Microsof thas delivered the Windows 8 and WP8 software they needed.

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