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Sony, The Catch-Up King

Sony, The Catch-Up King
Alvin Avin Naidu pointing at the damaged window. Photo: Sheenam Chandra
September 14
10:22 2014

Sony’s not making PCs any more.

It recently announced it wouldn’t be making new e-readers, either. The company’s also taking a long hard look at the TV business that it dominated for decades. In the ‘90s, its TVs stood up alongside the Discman, Walkman and even that new games console that could play CDs. Sony was cool; it had cachet. But a narrow focus on proprietary technology and its slowness to adapt to the dizzying speed of consumer tech in the last two decades have taken their toll.

Dedicated for next big thing

While it’s created a new department solely dedicated to making the next big thing, it remains to be seen if the company can bounce back from decades of failures.

The Walkman, the PlayStation, all those TVs, countless radios in increasingly smaller sizes, studio cameras and equipment, the compact disc and (possibly) AIBO, the robot dog. These are old success stories.

For decades, Sony practically defined high-end TVs, and they were everywhere. The Trinitron series even won an Emmy in the ‘70s. But success didn’t last. Flat-screen TVs killed chunky CRT sets.

Around 1992, companies like NEC and Hitachi, both Japanese rivals, became some of the earliest companies to manufacture bigger LCD displays with decent viewing quality. By 1996, Samsung had also figured out its own techniques for flat-screen TVs and by the end of 2007, LCD TVs were outselling CRTs globally.m.”




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