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Have Sony lost the corporate plot?

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by Faust, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. Faust

    Faust
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    Have Sony lost the corporate plot? I have for most of my adult life been a fan of Sony products, and whilst I hate to see anyone losing their jobs, the announcement of 10,000 posts being shed by Sony along with15 out of 65 manufacturing plants either being sold or closed is surely no surprise. I just cannot understand their philosophy, they seem to have sleep walked to almost disaster over the last seven years or so. Management have been arrogant in their belief that they could put a Sony badge on almost anything and not only would it sell, but sell for a hefty premium because of the Sony logo. Well no more – whilst Sony marketing have been sitting on their big fat corporate laurels, their competitors have been working hard to bring stylish reliable quality products to the market, and more importantly been selling those products at a price that the market is willing to pay for them. There has been a shift in consumer demand over the last decade, we are now just as concerned about price as by branding and are no longer willing to pay over the odds for what used to be that all important badge. In their press statement yesterday the Sony CEO said Sony would hit back with aggressive marketing and will work hard to regain the trust of customers – we shall have to wait and see. In the meantime what do others think?
     
  2. PUD the Ancient

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    I am afraid you are correct they have completely lost the plot in recent years. They have sat on there fat backsides making no technological advances like they used to and have let the other companies pass them while they stand still, releasing the same old stuff with no new features. I must say that until a few years ago i always used to buy sony because i thought i was paying for a quality product from a good company that had good customer service. Well i now know if you have a problem with one of there products they are just not interested and you have to fight tooth and nail to get anything done. Aswell as there appalling customer service there tv's of recent times have all had various technical problems and bugs which they just deny however many people complain. Anyway they only have there selves to blame for there situation and i for one will need quite a bit of convincing to go back to sony products.
     
  3. highlanders

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    You've both upset me now :( I've just bought my first Sony product :rolleyes:

    Hint it's on the left.
     
  4. andrewjh009

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    Personally i have mostly bought sony, i'd say around 15 products and have had trouble with none of them, many of them have lasted 10+ years or until sold, there are better products from other brands certainly, particularly in areas such as computing, i feel if you want a reliable and often attractive product then you'd do well to go with Sony.
     
  5. MartinImber

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    Sony are still good in some markets - eg video camera, they were top of CRT TV by a long way.

    Back in the 1980s they owned the top end domestic VCR market
     
  6. Phill1978

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    true but were talking about the here and now. and i have to agree their quirky and seem like a distant arrogant company.


    they dont have their finger on the pulse, its firmly wedged up their arse
     
  7. Faust

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    Like someone else has just posted they "were" but are not "now". If they were they would not be posting a loss for the first time in their history and embarking on this massive restructuring. If you look at the press reports on the job losses the analysts still aren't convinced this plan will work either and think Sony has got themselves in such a mess that the only thing that will turn their fortunes around is much more radical surgery and job losses than has already been announced. After all Sony are only doing this because consumers are no longer buying their products.

    I too bought excellent Sony products in the 1980s that are still going strong today, what a shame then that we have come to this.
     
  8. David Mackenzie

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    I'm the opposite really. A few years ago I wouldn't have gone near Sony with a barge pole. I love their stuff now though, and Sony UK Ltd are some of the friendliest and most reasonable people I've ever dealt with, even if their European product specs infuriate me.

    That said, I've never cared for their games consoles or the reliability of them.
     
  9. asherpat

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    This one is my post from another thread (MP3s, y-day) which is strangely relevant...:


    a bit on the tangent of this thread, but i hope somebody from Sony will read this my post:

    Sony are in deep trouble, and it is not only cos the company became unweildy and inefficient (how can they justify having at least 10 various headphones?). this was always the case with Japanese giants.

    The problem is that will be squeezed from two sides with the direction of home entertainment:

    in software, Microsoft has the head (windows, Media Centre, etc) and Apple has the heart (Mac and iAll). It was my experience that Sony tended to bungle software, see the cursed SonicStage, etc.

    In hardware, all the hardware makers are being relegated to positions of commodity shifters as one improvement follows the other, and the field is very dense with Koreans and Taiwanese pushing the Japanese out on quantity, if not quality.

    Now, finally after two decades of promises, the convergence b/w home entertainment, communication and computer is here. Gates' Media Centre, the Tablet PC etc have not been succesful at first stab but there's little doubt that eventually, a computer will rule the home etnertainment hub with a specilaized UI.

    When this happens, hardware companies will be fully and finally relegated almost to OEM status of peripherals producers, while MSFT and perhaps AAPL will be sitting pretty and collecting the rent of their OS monopoly. Sony and other today's consumer electronics favourites will be simply builders of tv monitors, disc drives (Blu-ray anyone?), audio amplifiers and perhaps decoder boxes... Even gaming will not save them cos MSFT's PC will be able to replace them clean and make it easier to play on line. Perhaps someone will start selling kits for a monster PC for the home that will sit in the utility room and spider the entertainment centre(s), terminals for Dad's work from home, kids' homework and Mum's emails, streaming audio and channeling printers and internets?

    The only way to avert this for the hardware crowd, is to have either a proprietary OS (but this is almost insurmountable, esp with Sony's record in software) OR use non MSFT or AAPL OS - the Linux. Now i am not an expert on OS but i think that this is possible and the only chance for Sony and other Japanese companies, also Philips to stay in the game.

    Note what the Dark Side is doing with the 360 - the PS3 may be more powerful and have better games (and Blu-ray - who cares when soon all will be stored off-site), but 360 will be the hub for the house, enabling photo viewing, music streaming, internet browsing, email etc - basically, an entertainment PC. Sony mumbled about these functions in the PS3 but i sense a big miss here coming.

    So there you have it. Ability to get a completely new product every six months (the HDs) but inability to have a killer one, and inability to see the direction of the industry.

    Sad for shorters of AAPL like me...
     
  10. Doctor Hades

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    I've always preferred to buy Sony products when I could: Walkmans, DVD players, TVs, consoles, Discmans, etc. etc. because I find they make quality products that last. Sadly though they no longer seem to be the "best in their field" and their high prices make their products look poor value for money when compared to the competition.

    Until recently even their LCD TVs were pretty poorly specced lacking in the connections most other manufacturers had been including in their TVs for ages. That's the reason I bought a Samsung TV instead of a Sony one. The price they were charging for a 26" without any digital connections or VGA was simply extortionate! At least now they finally have some TVs worth considering and without a doubt they'll be decent but sadly at too high a price for me to afford.
     
  11. GrahamC

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    The problem for Sony is the fact that much more pressure is being appied to the markets they once dominated. The Playstation success masked the failings for a long time and with a much stronger showing from MS and Ninty the strain is beginning to show (the next round will not help them either) along with the huge mistakes of LCD and MP3 you have today a weary tatty looking company.
     
  12. sean5302

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    Highlanders, I could REALLY upset you.

    Your screen may well have a Sony badge on it. If it's LCD it's been made in the S-LCD Corp plant, at the side of Samsung's factory in Korea.

    Technically a joint venture but, given the location, a bit one-sided.

    Also Sony have never made a plasma. Theirs were re-badged.

    Now, they don't make CRTs anymore.

    Hope you didn't pay much more than a samsung for your sony label.
     
  13. CLH

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    I have to agree with most of these sentiments. They really have been overtaken and they can't write software. Given that software really is the future (how many products will eventually need to be internet driven?) I fear for them.

    On another thread someone said that the HD series of Walkmans will overtake iPods. I can't see it. Apple methodology is too ingrained in society now, just like the PS1 was many years ago. It can be clawed back (see Xbox and Cube) but it takes an awful long time and a very good product. The HD series are brilliant, the software and marketing awful.

    THere is a glimmer though. I'm going to get an RDRHX710 recorder. This one really does everything I want and the HQ+ 15mbs pass level is inspired. Now that they've sorted their editing out it should be even better.

    I think there will be bad years for Sony ahead before they pull through. I also think they need to start poaching some staff from elsewhere.

    On the plus side I live near to the two TV plants in Bridgend. Their closure has hit us hard here, again through Sonys lack of planning. They now say that the centres will re-open as UK maintenance depots, which is nice :)
     
  14. FreeviewFan

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    Sony produced really great products up to about 10 years ago then lost the plot for a while; you could write a whole essay on Minidisc but I'll just say that all the models of portable ghettoblaster with a built-in Minidisc that Sony produced were (from memory) mains-only, despite the fact that you could buy a personal Minidisc recorder that happily ran for a reasonable amount of time on batteries :rolleyes:

    However Sony seem to be (finally) back on track again with a great new LCD TV range which is competitive and reasonably priced (even if the V-series ought to have a VGA socket), plus some other great products such as the PSP. (And it's nice to see that Sony are also now producing some good looking basic products as well.) LCD panels are now commodity products, and at least Sony gained early access to the best quality panels produced from their joint venture with Samsung.

    Sony still have some work to do before they can be as good as they were 20 years ago (they ought to simplify and improve their MP3 Walkman range for one thing) but the omens are looking good with their new products.
     
  15. sean5302

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    I believe they took on a lot more than they could chew.

    They were world leaders in electronic hardware. The Trinitron was head and shoulders above every other tv.

    They decided they wanted to be the equivalent of America's General Electric.

    Clock radios, toasters, bedside lamps.

    They also bought a Pictures Company. i forget which, but it became Sony Pictures Corporation.

    If you spread yourself too thinly, you become Jack of all Trades, and master of none.
     
  16. MartinImber

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    Pity the CRT market has died because I would still buy a Trinitron tubed TV over any other tube.

    Their DVD players have suffered from a two pronged attack, cheap supermarket and Pioneers support of DVD-A and SACD.

    Their video cameras are still market leading luckily for them!

    I love Minidisc and I am using the rise in popularity of HD players to get a cheap MD portable
     
  17. Dazzle

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    Yes, I've got a Sony Digital Camcorder and it's a gem of a thing. I've always been a Sony fan, but I've not brought many Sony products recently. Maybe they do need to start again.
     
  18. Raze

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    The PS3 will be make or break for Sony I reckon... if it fails I think Sony may well die.
    jmo
     
  19. Moogle

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    I believe it's Columbia Tristar.
     
  20. Daftboy

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  21. nabby

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    Solution to Sony's ills...team up with Tivo in the UK.... :)

    Ok so I' dreaming here...
     
  22. Chris Frost

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    IMO the Korean and Chinese brands are now where Sony was 30 years ago.

    I think Sony built its reputation on innovation coupled with exceptionally successful marketing. Does anyone remember Sony's 1980's TV advert with John Cleese..."those awfully nice people at Sony..." They had good ideas, weren't afraid to charge a premium, and threw lots of money at making a market and establishing the brand. It created desire for the product that allowed Sony to dictate terms to the retailers rather than the other way around. Apple is doing exactly the same thing right now with the iPod franchise.

    Where I believe Sony (and many other manufacturers) lost their way is that they focussed too much on making money rather than making better products. If that's the company goal then they're in the wrong business.

    The world has changed a lot in 30 years. There are more brands, less loyalty, and many more new players in the market who are just as innovative as Sony were but haven't yet established the brand premium that the Sony badge carries.



    Will Sony survive? I think probably yes, But the days of their dominance in the market are numbered.


    Regards
     
  23. Solomon Grundy

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    Sony have also recently stated that they will be looking to shift their focus away from consumer goods and towards the design and manufacture of electronic components, semiconductors and the like.

    also attached is an article on where they are looking to have 32" LCD panels made.

    http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20050927PR201.html
     

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