Sony is synonymous with consumer electronics. It’s especially big in TVs and game consoles like PlayStation3. Officially named Sony Kabushiki Kaisha, the company designs, develops, manufactures, and sells a host of electronic equipment, instruments, and devices for consumer, professional, and industrial markets. Professional products include semiconductors and components. A top global media conglomerate, Sony boasts additional assets in the areas of music (Sony Music Entertainment), film (Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Digital Production), DVDs (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), and TV (Sony Pictures Television). Sony also has several financial services businesses and an advertising agency in Japan.
Sony found its beginning in the wake of World War II. In 1946, Masaru Ibuka started an electronics shop in a bomb-damaged department store building in Tokyo. The company had $530 in capital and a total of eight employees. The next year, he was joined by his colleague, Akio Morita, and they founded a company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). The company built Japan’s first tape recorder, called the Type-G. In 1958 the company name was changed to Sony.
In the early 1950s, Ibuka traveled in the United States and heard about Bell Labs’ invention of the transistor. He convinced Bell to license the transistor technology to his Japanese company, for use in communications. Ibuka’s company made the first commercially successful transistor radios.According to Schiffer, Sony’s TR-63 radio “cracked open the U.S. market and launched the new industry of consumer microelectronics.” By the mid-1950s, American teens had begun buying portable transistor radios in huge numbers, helping to propel the fledgling industry from an estimated 100,000 units in 1955 to 5 million units by the end of 1968.
Origin of name
When Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo was looking for a Romanized name to use to market them, they strongly considered using their initials, TTK. The primary reason they did not is that the railway company Tokyo Kyuko was known as TKK. The company occasionally used the acronym “Totsuko” in Japan, but during his visit to the United States, Morita discovered that Americans had trouble pronouncing that name. Another early name that was tried out for a while was “Tokyo Teletech” until Akio Morita discovered that there was an American company already using Teletech as a brand name.
The name “Sony” was chosen for the brand as a mix of two words. One was the Latin word “Sonus”, which is the root of sonic and sound, and the other was “Sonny”, a familiar term used in 1950s America to call a boy. The first Sony-branded product, the TR-55 transistor radio, appeared in 1955 but the company name did not change to Sony until January 1958.
At the time of the change, it was extremely unusual for a Japanese company to use Roman letters to spell its name instead of writing it in kanji. The move was not without opposition: TTK’s principal bank at the time, Mitsui, had strong feelings about the name. They pushed for a name such as Sony Electronic Industries, or Sony Teletech. Akio Morita was firm, however, as he did not want the company name tied to any particular industry. Eventually, both Ibuka and Mitsui Bank’s chairman gave their approval
To create exciting new digital entertainment experiences for consumers by bringing together cutting-edge products with latest generation content and services.
As a mission and goal, Sony is dedicated to providing innovative products and multimedia services that challenge the way consumers experience digital entertainment. As a digital entertainment service provider Sony wants create new worlds via their products to give consumers new experiences that can stimulate their senses. For their computer entertainment sector their mission and goal is to find the most talented developers to produce caliber products that continually raise the standards. The firm wants to create family products that change the way they experience home entertainment such as television, gaming, and movies. To change the way families enjoy home entertainment Sony’s PlayStation 3 integrates all aspects of home entertainment. The gaming console is a versatile machine where consumers can play video games, watch movies through the Blu-ray player and stream movies and shows through Netflix. The PlayStation 3 has changed the way individuals enjoy digital entertainment.
Boosting Sony’s Electronics Business
A key focus for Sony is to strengthen its all-important electronics business and maintain market leadership in high profile areas such as televisions, digital imaging, home video equipment and portable audio. To achieve this, Sony is pursuing three corporate initiatives:
The Customer Viewpoint Initiative emphasizes the importance to staff of viewing Sony, its products and services from a customer perspective.
The Technology Nr. 1 Initiative focuses on reinforcing Sony’s cutting-edge technologies in the areas targeted for maximum investment of resources, including televisions, home video equipment, digital imaging equipment and Walkman®.
The ‘Genba’ Initiative aims at strengthening frontline operations (‘genba’ in Japanese) such as design locations, manufacturing facilities and sales offices.
Formats and technologies
Sony has historically been notable for creating its own in-house standards for new recording and storage technologies, instead of adopting those of other manufacturers and standards bodies. Sony (either alone or with partners) has introduced several of the most popular recording formats, including the floppy disk, Compact Disc, and Blu-ray Disc.
Sony delivers thrilling digital entertainment experiences by capitalising on the synergy between its electronics business, content creation capabilities and movie, music, mobile and computer games interests. As a world leader in high definition, Sony already offers an exciting range of broadcast and consumer HD products, as well as content assets that are driving the industry towards HD digitization.
Sony is the only company that can deliver complete, end-to-end solutions for today’s HD World. We provide the tools for our customers to create, edit, store, share and enjoy High Definition content. Sony Pictures and Sony Computer Entertainment create movies and games that maximise the full power and potential of HD while independent film makers and programme producers are encouraged to realize their unique creative vision in full Sony HD.
Sony offers a number of products in a variety of product lines around the world. Sony has developed a music playing robot called Rolly, dog-shaped robots called AIBO and a humanoid robot called QRIO. As of 1 April 2012, Sony is organized into the following business segments: Imaging Products & Solutions (IP&S), Game, Mobile Products & Communications (MP&C), Home Entertainment & Sound (HE&S), Devices, Pictures, Music, Financial Services and All Other. The network and medical businesses are included in the All Other.
Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group. It primarily conducts strategic business planning of the group, research and development (R&D), planning, designing and marketing for electronics products. Its subsidiaries such as Sony EMCS Corporation (6 plants in Japan), Sony Semiconductor Corporation (7 plants in Japan) and its subsidiaries outside Japan (Brazil, China, England, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Ireland and United States) are responsible for manufacturing as well as product engineering (Sony EMCS is also responsible for customer service operations). In 2012, Sony rolled most of its consumer content services (including video, music, and gaming) into the Sony Entertainment Network.
Sony Mobile Communications AB (formerly Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB) is a multinational mobile phone manufacturing company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation.
In 2001, Sony entered into a joint venture with Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson, forming Sony Ericsson. Initial sales were rocky, and the company posted losses in 2001 and 2002. However, SMC reached a profit in 2003. Sony Ericsson distinguished itself with multimedia-capable mobile phones, which included features such as cameras. These were unusual for the time. Despite their innovations, SMC faced intense competition from Apple’s iPhone, released in 2007. From 2008 to 2010, amid a global recession, SMC slashed its workforce by several thousand. Sony acquired Ericsson’s share of the venture in 2012 for over US$1 billion. In 2009, SMC was the fourth-largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world (after Nokia, Samsung and LG). By 2010, its market share had fallen to sixth place. Sony Mobile Communications now focuses exclusively on the smartphone market.
Sony Computer Entertainment
Sony Computer Entertainment is best known for producing the popular line of PlayStation consoles. The line grew out of a failed partnership with Nintendo. Originally, Nintendo requested for Sony to develop an add-on for its console that would play Compact Discs. In 1991 Sony announced the add-on, as well as a dedicated console known as the “Play Station”. However, a disagreement over software licensing for the console caused the partnership to fall through. Sony then continued the project independently.
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. (SPE) is the television and film production/distribution unit of Sony. With 12.5% box office market share in 2011, the company was ranked 3rd among movie studios. Its group sales in 2010 were US$7.2 billion. The company has produced many notable movie franchises, including Spider-Man, The Karate Kid, and Men in Black. It has also produced popular television game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Sony entered the television and film production market when it acquired Columbia Pictures Entertainment in 1989 for $3.4 billion. Columbia lives on in the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, a subsidiary of SPE which in turn owns TriStar Pictures and Columbia Pictures. SPE’s television division is known as Sony Pictures Television. For the first several years of its existence, Sony Pictures Entertainment performed poorly, leading many to suspect the company would sell off the division. Sony Pictures Entertainment encountered controversy in the early 2000s. In July 2000, a marketing executive working for Sony Corporation created a fictitious film critic, David Manning, who gave consistently good reviews for releases from Sony subsidiary Columbia Pictures that generally received poor reviews amongst real critics. Sony later pulled the ads, suspended Manning’s creator and his supervisor and paid fines to the state of Connecticut and to fans who saw the reviewed films in the US. In 2006 Sony started using ARccOS Protection on some of their film DVDs, but later issued a recall.
In November 2011, Sony was ranked 9th (jointly with Panasonic) in Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics. This chart grades major electronics companies on their environmental work. The company scored 3.6/10, incurring a penalty point for comments it has made in opposition to energy efficiency standards in California. It also risks a further penalty point in future editions for being a member of trade associations that have commented against energy efficiency standards.Together with Philips, Sony receives the highest score for energy policy advocacy after calling on the EU to adopt an unconditional 30% reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Meanwhile, it receives full marks for the efficiency of its products. In 2007, Sony ranked 14th on the Greenpeace guide.
Sony fell from its earlier 11th place ranking due to Greenpeace’s claims that Sony had double standards in their waste policies.[ Since 1976, Sony has had an Environmental Conference. Sony’s policies address their effects on global warming, the environment, and resources. They are taking steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that they put out as well as regulating the products they get from their suppliers in a process that they call “green procurement”. Sony has said that they have signed on to have about 75 percent of their Sony Building running on geothermal power. The “Sony Take Back Recycling Program” allow consumers to recycle the electronics products that they buy from Sony by taking them to eCycle (Recycling) drop-off points around the U.S. The company has also developed a biobattery that runs on sugars and carbohydrates that works similarly to the way living creatures work. This is the most powerful small biobattery to date.