Sony is no longer an electronics company. It generates most of its profits from its financial services company (Sony-Finance), which sells life insurances and credit cards in Japan, and entertainment businesses (Sony Pictures, Sony Music). The company’s TV and mobile phone businesses are clearly dragging Sony’s bottom line.
More troubling is that no quick-fix solutions seem available to turn its electronics businesses profitable. Touching on that subject, Sony's chief financial officer, Masaru Kato, was quoted at a news conference, "The market environment and competitive landscape remains severe in the electronics business."
Despite the much-anticipated, new PlayStation 4 consoles’ scheduled launch later this year, Sony is expecting videogame profits to be flat in this fiscal year.
Mobile phones are another key area Sony’s chief Kazuo Hirai is counting on the company’s recovery. Again, beyond the additional restructuring measures in its business, Sony’s prospects for any meaningful gain in share in the U.S. and China markets remain murky.
Strategy Analytics noted that Sony captured less than 1 percent of the U.S. market in 2012.
IDC ranked Sony fourth globally on the smartphone market in the fourth quarter of last year with a 4.5 percent share. But in the first quarter this year, Sony fell off the top five entirely.
For a while I thought they have really rebounded...the revenues from asset sale cant be counted.
" It generates most of its profits from its financial services company (Sony-Finance), which sells life insurances and credit cards in Japan"
interesting.. I never knew Sony was into selling financial services.
The lack of focus is killing Sony Electronics.. too many products. none blockbuster , maybe except playstation.
Sony lost it's way in the same sense that other Japanese companies did. They allowed tenure to rule all levels of management. The key young people left, assuming they ever would work at a Japanese multinational in the first place.
As an American who was at a Japanese sub in the US (before I knew better), the problems were painfully obvious. The Japanese nationals fell into two columns - A. Those who loved the US because they could shop/golf to there heart's content and B. Ladder -climbing gamesmen who confused long hours with innovative work. The Americans employees were generally people who could not get jobs at any decent US company or were in retirement-on-the-job mode. Just kowtowed to the Japanese managers and collected their pay.
There seemed to be no sense of business. If a product was failing in the market, it was not polite to say so. If a manager was inept or incompetent, there was not effort to fix the problem.
What is sad is that the businesses build from essentially nothing after WWII were allowed to collapse.
Sometimes a company has to consolidate out a bit and redefine core focus before it can set out again with a purpose. Seems like the first half of that mission has been accomplished, now do they have the staff,drive, and leadership to go out and innovate again ? Gotta think that renewable energy, fuel cells, etc... would be a good target market for them if they still have the engineers and scientists to do some innovation.
Has ANYONE taken notice of their Alpha and NEX cameras? They have redefined expectations in the market and wowed reviewers. They are even churning-out (superior) full-frame CMOS sensors for Nikon. In that market they were a nobody. Now Canon, Nikon, Fuji AND Samsung are playing catch-up. Just sayin.
I agree. Especially, Sony's CMOS image sensor is a key contributor to Sony's operating income, listed above, as "device."
Sony's digital cameras are also getting good reviews. Details of what Sony has got are listed here:
I think the problem is not with Sony, but with the public. No one buys quality products anymore.
For instance, who buys high-end cameras or home stereos anymore? It seems everyone is satisfied with the mediocre performance of a smartphone camera or mp3 player.
I have a high-end digital camera that takes Hi-def pictures that I show on a large-screen TV. A smartphone camera just wouldn't cut it. Just the lenses on my camera are a big as the whole smartphone so there's no way a tiny one-quarter inch lens is going to provide that kind of color rendition and resolution.
I understand the portability of an mp3 player, but to me, nothing beats my Sony 200 Watt Stereo Receiver pushing a pair of Bose speakers.
The problem is, the public is not really interested in this stuff anymore. I just bought a Sony Hi-Def HandyCAM and it provides unbelievable videos on my Wide-Screen TV.
But my kids could care less. They are happy with the grainy videos they get on their smartphones.
It's a different world out there. Sony is providing a quality product that the public just doesn't get excited about any more.
What a shame, not for Sony, but for the public.
They don't know what they are missing.
Maybe because not many enthusiast or hardcore electronic hardware loving type of peoples today that love to collect high tech gadget that offer very finest and highest quality experience whether its picture or sound or function etc.
Plus this day everything is about fast, simple, well function, and easy to use products where most of this public searching and need for. Not to say there are no longer peoples with enthusiastic like you that appreciate quality and true function of every electronic stuff. But that is the reality today.
For Sony they still making high quality, sophisticated and very high engineering product like home theater, hi-fi, camera etc and same for the other Japanese electronic companies like Panasonic, Pioneer, Toshiba, Yamaha, Nikon etc. They will continue to do so as they know there still many true gadget lover out there. Thanks.
Bob, iMacs are a quality product and people are buying them, even though they are pricey.
Problem is with Sony not the public.
Yes, there are cheap knock offs now compared to 10 years ago. Sony should think of ways to reduce cost and stay in the market or risk going into oblivion.
Even their newer smart phones are expensive.