Japan Sony

Sony on brink of upheaval as analysts back British chief

Nothing new here except that this looks to be the critical moment for Howard.  If he can really make deep cuts, literally shed 20-35% of the business that is not profitable, then he has a chance of keeping Sony relevant.  If Stringer can’t make cuts that deep, he’ll be replaced within a 1-2 year time frame with some lame Japanese executive who’d never make those cuts.  This is the moment for Sony to seize the fact that Howard is NOT JAPANESE, and Sony is NO LONGER PROFITABLE, and to make the necessary cuts. As a shareholder myself, I demand no less.

Koya Tabata, a Credit Suisse analyst, recently warned investors that the restructuring of Sony is perilously overdue and must be radical. Sony management needs to make a rapid shift in its business model to one driven by earnings in the content business, he said.

The focus of research and development must be on software, he said, adding: “The most important thing is that, to improve organisational strength in the areas of development, purchasing and marketing, it will be necessary to further concentrate power in the hands of [Sir Howard] and unless this is achieved we believe [Sony] will be unable to close the gap with competitors such as Apple and Nintendo.”

Sony on brink of upheaval as analysts back British chief – Times Online

Japan mobile Sony Toyota

History lesson for Nokia’s Vertu in Japan

Nokia has announced that they plan to launch an MVNO with Docomo using their Vertu brand in Japan.
A quick look at this brings up many more questions than answers. Vodafone failed spectacularly in Japan just a few years ago, and without careful understanding of the Japan market, Vertu/Nokia will fail as well. Masayoshi Son was the major benefactor of the failed Vodafone Japan effort.
I think Vertu in Japan needs to understand why these efforts failed in Japan:
– Toyota’s Lexus brand
– Sony’s Qualia brand
Lexus did well in the US because the US Toyota dealership experience was so horrendous for customers that they were happy to pay more for a much better dealer experience AND the products had a premium that was not as high as the German competition but was as good as they expected of a Japanese manufacturer. Affordable luxury. In Japan, the dealer experience is much more uniform so that is not a competitive edge, and for Japanese car buyers, Lexus is a domestic brand, it does not have the cachet of a foreign brand like BMW or Audi. We all know that the Lexus RX and the Toyota Harrier are the same vehicle, the GS is a gussied up Toyota Crown, the IS is a gussied up Toyota Altezza, etc.
Sony’s Qualia effort was doomed from the start, even if the idea may have been a good one. The products were roundly derided as being poorer feature-sets for the outrageous prices that were being demanded.
Unless Vertu has a whole new line of phones designed just for the Japanese market, they’ll fail via product, as Vodafone did. And even if Vertu has a whole new line of phones for Japan, it’s incredibly poor timing to launch a premium-anything in Japan. Maybe if the target market is the top 10,000 richest people in Japan, but how valuable is that market really?
More competition in Japan’s mobile market is very welcome, but I don’t see clearly Nokia’s strategy wrt a Vertu-based MVNO in Japan. If anyone can convince me otherwise, I’m all ears.
UPDATE: on my way home yesterday I was wondering how Disney Japan is doing with their MVNO with Softbank but since the target demographic is so different from what Vertu wants to do, I don’t think there are many lessons to be learned.

Dartmouth Gizmo Japan Photo Sony

Thom Hogan – 2009 Nikon Predictions

2009 Nikon Predictions
Worth perusing if you are drooling over expensive DSLRS…and something of a misnomer as Thom opines on Canon and Sony and others too.

Japan Sony video

Sony’s Stringer on Charlie Rose

Charlie Rose interviews Sony CEO Howard Stringer. Worth watching if you used to work at Sony.


Jennifer Pariser, Sony BMG

This is very, very disappointing.

Sony BMG’s chief anti-piracy lawyer: “Copying” music you own is “stealing”