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Sony struggling as Walkman hits 30th anniversary

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Great days...

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Sony has done most of this damage to itself. With cheaply made products that die off quickly, with proprietary formats, with high prices and with a growing reputation for making products that fail almost with timer like precision 1-2 years after purchase. These are not selling points to a generation that have to be careful about their spending and who expect good quality and lasting products.

Sony also lacks innovation. Their Vaio line includes many silly space saving designs or fancy functions, but are universally known to fail. Their music devices are uninspired. And their cameras are overpriced and not in the same league with their Canon competitors. Even their cell phone offerings recently lack much to be excited about when they previously were a model I faithfully selected.

Sony needs to stop being so profit centered and become far more customer centered. Get back in touch with the people and make products that they will stand in line to buy. Phones with great practical pda functions a fantastic camera and long batter life that are simple to use. Music players that have good large screens for viewing video files, compatibility with any media file type (mp4, mpg, dvix, avi, mp3 etc...) and a great little application to help sort your files and again long battery life. And how about some computers with the practicality of Mac and long lasting quality that will allow people to use your products for years without too much worry.

Make your products last and customers will return. Make products that they want and they will buy them. Put customers first and you may win back your leadership and profitability

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I have owned Sony products in the past (not many) and have been reasonably satisfied with their performance and longevity. I still have tapes recorded on my huge, clunky Betamax (which sold new for 279,000 yen if I recall correctly), but no longer have any hardware on which to watch them. I would agree with the gist of tkoind2's remarks and add that I think Sony has been coasting on its once-vaunted reputation for a long time. These days the company is better known among teenagers for its video games than for high-quality entertainment equipment people buy for their living rooms.

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When the iPod began selling like hotcakes several years ago, a Japanese reporter asked Shizuo Takashino, one of the developers of the original Walkman, why Sony hadn’t come up with the idea. Afterall, the iPod seemed like something that should have been a trademark Sony product.

What was the answer?

I used to love Sony products but got fed up with all the propriety stuff - it will take something seriously impressive and innovative for me to buy a Sony product again

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This happens when accountants, administrators and business school types take over the reigns. They only can count. Remember Apple without Steve Jobs. At Sony, when Morita was gone things started to go downhill and the company has been on the decline ever since. Without the creators/engineers in charge the passion is gone while creativity and vision get suffocated. After that the endless 'restructuring' to maximize profits and efficiency until all lifeblood is evaporated. It's just the malaise of the times, not only at Sony, but everywhere.

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tkoind - with reference to your comment about Sony products failing at a predetermined time, Japanese consumers actually have a name for it - it is called the "Sony Bomb," and over the last 10 years or so it is a terminology that I have heard a lot more when doing research in Japan. According to popular myth (among people who have bought Sony Bombs), the products themselves are designed to fail within one month of any guarantee expiring. Moreover, real paranoid people believe there is a division within Sony whose sole purpose is to design these features.

On a more general level, I hope that Sony can come back. At the same time, however, in order to do so it has to realize that the world is no longer Sony-centric. The sooner it realizes the new realities the better.

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Yeah, my father always respected Sony televisions and other products when I was growing up, and we had a workhorse Betamax that actually made a near-retirement old TV useable again in the kitchen. But as I've grown old enough to be making purchases myself, Sony has less and less of that aura for me.

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Takashino had been showing reporters the latest Walkman models, which played proprietary files. Sony has been criticized for sticking to such proprietary formats

there you have it. sony tried to become an entertainment and electronics monopoly, selling both the players and the content, got greedy, tried to lock in its customers, compromised on quality and customers voted with their feet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_Stage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Sony_BMG_CD_copy_protection_scandal

etc. bye, bye, sony!

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those links again

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Sony_BMG_CD_copy_protection_scandal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_Stage

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"the Trinitron TV"

I remember when that was the TV to get. The Trinitron's picture was so much sharper than our Zenith TV's picture...

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Old Sony was great. That is why they grew the way they did. Especially when compared to their contemporary competitors.

The problem is now. Our company install of Sony DVD/VHS players all failed within a two month period of each other. This despite very different usage levels. Seven units in all within a total of two months.

And nearly every Vaio owner I know has a dead Vaio at home.

This rumour certainly has some foundation in the experience people are having with Sony products. Myth about self destruction. Sure, maybe that is the case. But myth about reliability, I disagree and stand by experiences that validate the short life span of modern Sony products.

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Old Sony was great. That is why they grew the way they did. Especially when compared to their contemporary competitors.

i don't want to come across as a sony-basher, but weren't their products only popular because they were affordable? they made other manufacturers look expensive and old fashioned although the quality was ultimately questionable. this is the manufacturing model that rebuilt japan, more recently imitated by china, vietname, et al. people are a bit wiser to this game now, though. the walkman was an innovative product, but other than that sony were famous for making cheap and straightforward consumer electronics

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iPods do not play MP3 files.

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actually sony was struggling when the walkman hit its 20th anniversary as well...tells you something about sony

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iPods do not play MP3 files.

err.... wrong

Audio formats supported: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV

http://www.apple.com/ipodclassic/specs.html

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Mrs buggerlugs insists on buying herself Sony vaios. On pc number 4 in 5 years I demanded to know why she always bought them cause my little 5 year old loox was still going strong. Her reply "because I want a new pc and I know Sony will break" Cant beat her logic there. Give me an iPod anyday.

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