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Old January 7th, 2006, 12:34 AM   #1
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Has Sony lost its focus?

It used to be the Neiman Marcus and Christian Dior of consumer and broadcast electronics. Now it also wants to be also the K Martt, Avon, and a homeless soup kitchen.

It got into making home robot dogs; now they quit but started making home robots, which will not be for sale. Meanwhile Apple made the IPOD a super success. Sony at the same time ran the Aiwa brand to ground and created Qualia Brand, which is now being phased out.

It makes the worst junk films of all the major film studios. The audience sees the Sony logo and it laughs, in both US and Europe. The film is usually bad. What does it do for Sony's image? Sony at one time was the "#1 image" brand. Now it's something like #20.

They made good Charlie's Angels and xXx. Each was supposed to be another James Bond. The second films in the series were so bad, that there may not be any thirds.

They at one time had most of the digital camera market. Now they have just a small fraction and will be making SLR with Minolta, the dying camera brand that was bought by Konica. They bought the Zeiss Ikon label for their camcorder lenses, but Nokia bought it for their cellphones. They were offered the Zeiss Contax brand, but did not buy it. One mistake after another.

They have a CBS guy running an electronics conglomerate. Before that a Japanese marketing guy ran it, took care of marketing worldwide, but could not market. Before him a musician ran the company, after death of the founder that made the company great.

Trinitron used to be the best TV brand. Now Sony LCDs are made in a Samsung-built plant, where Samsung owns majority and Sony minority share. They also swapped most of their patents with Samsung's patents, at no compensation.

Sony developed Blu-Ray recorder several years back but did not have the balls to bring it to market, because they wanted to please the Hollywood Studios. Now they have to compete with Toshiba's HD-DVD and probably are selling the licenses for 1/10 the cost, if not less, just to sign the studios that Toshiba has.

Fiasco with CD's which opened computers to spyware. Class actions lawsuits. Will it cost them a billion dollars, at a time when they are hardly making any profits?

They build HDTV sets that will not recognize Z1 camera, only FX-1, so they can sell Z1 owners more expensive "pro" monitors.

Sony developed DV. 10 years later they sell HDV with about 5x more pixels but the same bit rate. They developed MPEG2 XDCAM with 50 Mbps bit rate; their MPEG2 HD XDCAM will be 35 Mbps, so it does not compete with HDCAM.

Enough BS, Sony, or just like you lost to Apple with I-Pod and I-Tunes, you'll lose to RED, Thomson, and other decent companies when it comes to your broadcast business.

Steve Jobbs at one time played golf with the previous top Sony executive and offered him to open and run I-tunes together. The guys said "no". The rest is history.

Last edited by Petr Marusek; January 7th, 2006 at 01:48 AM.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 06:39 AM   #2
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Hey donít forget David Manning, of the Ridgefield Press. He was the movie reviewer that Sony made up to review their movies, he always loved them, but he did not exist.

And of course New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer caught them paying off DJs in New York for playing music. Payola in New York and elsewhere!

They settled out of court in those cases. Did you all get the $5.00 back for having seen those movies? They do have their problems donít they. Go HD DVD!
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Old January 7th, 2006, 06:56 AM   #3
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There is a thread in this section, "2/3 of Sony cameras fail Chinese government tests". It talks about Sony trying to bribe the Chinese media to cover for inferior products.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 07:08 AM   #4
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Sony has certainly made its share of mistakes in recent years. Howard Stringer, who obviously doesn't impress you, is trying to turn the company around and the rumor is that he wants to make some drastic changes but is having to relax the timetable due to massive resistance from the old timers.

Personally I think it was very gutsy of Sony to bring in a Westerner to re-energize the company. They still make plenty of great products, and they're coming back. I bought shares several months ago and now have a 26% gain. So Howard is OK in my book :-)

Beyond that, I suppose your message is that you don't like Sony. As a $46 billion company, I'm sure they will be sorry to hear that.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 07:14 AM   #5
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I do hope they get their "Stuff" together. They make many great products and I have a lot of them.

I have not followed the new managment closely, hopefully things will change, but change does take time.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 08:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Sony has certainly made its share of mistakes in recent years. Howard Stringer, who obviously doesn't impress you, is trying to turn the company around
If they had brought in Steve Jobbs, I would have aplauded them. Howard Stringer had under him the movie division when all the crappy films were made. Still I'm sure he will be successful. The company has a tremendous potential and anyone could manage it better than the last couple of Japanese experts, a musician and a salesman. I just think that someone else would have been better for the job. Sony founders were engineers; that made all the difference for a technology driven company. Stringer is absically a journalist-turned-manager, who "knows how to get ahead", or at least that is how one of the well respected CBC men characterized him.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 02:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petr Marusek
If they had brought in Steve Jobbs, I would have aplauded them. Howard Stringer had under him the movie division when all the crappy films were made.......... Stringer is absically a journalist-turned-manager, who "knows how to get ahead", or at least that is how one of the well respected CBC men characterized him.
I'm not sure what you have against Howard Stringer, he's an awesome executive with an impressive track record. Kudo's to Sony for taking a chance in hiring their first non-asian to head up their company. In regards to your comment about Mr. Stringer being reponsible for Sony's recent string of failures at the box office is not really a fair assessment considering that he's only been in power for a little over a year. Mid 2006 will be his first year of projects that he's greenlit, so in all fairness, judge his box office numbers at the end of 2006. And lastly, I would be interested to know who in fact at CBC said that quote to you, because anybody who knows CBC also knows that Howard Stringer was well liked and respected in all his years there. By your assesment I guess Paramount is also doomed as well having placed ex-manager Brad Grey in charge.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 03:46 PM   #8
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I have nothing against Howard Stringer, and I think he will do great things! I want this company to succeed, and it is in the best interest of us all.

Mike
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Old January 7th, 2006, 03:47 PM   #9
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It was Howard Stinger who's been in charge of US operations for years. Columbia Pictures were under him. Sony used to be technology driven company. At that time it was run by engineers. As it changed, Sony just went down the hill.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 04:53 PM   #10
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Well if it means anything, everything single Sony product i have ever bought has always been great, never had a warranty claim on anything.. Maybe ive just had a good run.. And they own the old Sonic Foundry line of audio/video software (Vegas, Soundforge, Acid) which IMO is some of the best software ever made.. So i hope that stays alive..

iPod is about the only success Apple has had since the early 90s.. And its only a success because its a good concept, its not actually a well built product.. Mine started giving me problems within 3 months and every single person i know whos got one (4 or 5) have all said they have probs also.. I dont know why people swing from Jobs nuts so much.. Does anyone remember the cube computer ? What a disaster..
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Old January 7th, 2006, 05:14 PM   #11
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And Ipod wouldn't exist, if the market hadn't been pioneered by Diamond Rio, the developers of the first MP3 players, and Napster the trailblazer of downloading music.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 10:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petr Marusek
It was Howard Stinger who's been in charge of US operations for years. Columbia Pictures were under him. Sony used to be technology driven company. At that time it was run by engineers. As it changed, Sony just went down the hill.

You may want to do some fact checking there. Howard Stringer was never and has never been in charge of Sony's movie division, none of them. Not Tri Star, not Columbia and not Sony Pictures. And I guess Sir Howard Stringer O.B.E. holds no weight nor merit with you either. With Amy Pascal as head of Sony Filmed Entertainment you got the Spiderman movies, Men in Black movies and several more hits. And again, I would like to know who from CBC said that quote.

The real head of Columbia Pictures
http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/bio_amy_pascal.html
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Old January 8th, 2006, 03:03 AM   #13
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Stringer was in charge of US operations and was Amy's boss. All I'm saying is that IMHO Sony needs to return to it's roots. It does not need a CBS guy to be in charge. It needs engineers in charge and needs to concentrate on electronics. If British knighthood impresses you when it comes to running Sony, fine.

When engineers ran Sony, the video quality was improving constantly. Sony developed:
Beta, 8 mm, with 240 line resolution
Super Beta, Hi8, with 300-400 line resolution
ED Beta, DV, Digital 8, with 500 line resolution, 25 Mbps on the digital formats

Then Sony founder had a stroke and the technology improvements began to stagnate. A musician and later a marketing guy were heading Sony. The musicial left in shame on how he messed up Sony and apologized. The marketing guy is out. CBS executive is in. Katagari, who developed Playstation, an engineer, who was thought to head Sony, gets kicked out from top management. Non engineer again heads the technology company.
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Old January 8th, 2006, 05:25 AM   #14
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http://money.cnn.com/magazines/busin...5251/index.htm

Quote:
Stringer, typically, says the kudos for the turnaround at Sony Pictures should be aimed at John Calley, who stepped in as chairman after the disastrous reigns of the notoriously profligate Peter Guber and the famously inept Alan Levine. But Stringer deserves a share of the credit. He has put relentless pressure on superfluous costs, while still endorsing large, if calculated, risks. He has patiently stood by talented executives such as Amy Pascal, the Columbia Pictures chief responsible, after several lean years, for Spider-Man and the Charlie's Angels franchise.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 05:57 PM   #15
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Another great decision?

http://my.netscape.com/corewidgets/n...19380002081365

The good times just keep on rolling!
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