I have an NEX and it is good under the right conditions although the software/interface is a pain. When the opportunity was right, Apple should have bought Sony (or perhaps Sony should have bought Apple) to integrate OS X/iOS into Sony's fine hardware. If Apple had bought Sony early on, they would have prevented Sony making Android devices too!
Apple was in a worse position before Steve Job’s come-back than Sony is today. Where is Japan’s “Steve Jobs”? Sony does not necessarily always understand markets and users. One example, I had a very bad experience with Sony Bravia TV. It’s supposed to take JPG photos from a USB drive and share with family and friends. But you know what, it only works with a very limited subset of JPG format. It won’t work if the photo is touched by Photoshop and saved as progressive JPG (as opposed to baseline) and it won’t work if the photo is compressed as “chroma444” like Photoshop does (as opposed to chroma422). It looks as if Sony never thought about that people may use photo-editing software of all sorts on their pictures. The end-result is a frustrated and disappointed user experience.
I have been looking into the success of Sony in the 80s' and 90s', the missing of opportunity. I have as well studied Samsung.
We seem to come to the era of Korea success. From Electronics product to media product, Korean's seems to be leading everyone. There must be a Samsung or LG product in any household. Who doesn't know Gangnam Style? Korean drama are more popular in Asian market than Japanese drama. What really has changed? More importantly, what can turn around the table?
There is very little debate of the quality that Sony products deliver. The picture quality of Sony's HDTV and the 4K TV is exceptional. I don't think Korean brands are right up there. Yet, Samsung and LG offer extreme competitive pricing. In short, the quality price ratio of Samsung TV might just be better than Sony's TV.
So, what is lacking in Sony's product? Maybe, Sony had succeeded because of high quality and failed because of quality.
On the other hands, the new age seems to favor younger companies. How many old brand are struggling - Sony, Nokia and to name in just a few? The question comes down to what an "old" company can do to renovate itself to become a new trend?
Junko, your story headline brings a sense of nostalgia and melancholy! In the early 2000's, I used to live 5 minutes away from Sony's plant in Rancho Bernardo area of San Diego and always wanted to work there.
More than a decade and a half ago when I started working in semiconductor backend and packaging, Sony's handbook on quality and reliability was the best one (along with the Intel's). It is a sad state today to see where the giant is.
Here is the link to Sony Semiconductor Quality and Reliability handbook:
I hope this is a metamorphic phase for the one-time electronic giant. My hopes are for an emerging butterfly that flutters its wings globally to bring new products and solutions.
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.
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.
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.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.