Is Sony in a Temporary or Permanent Decline?

21 May

Sony used to truly be iconic — both the company and its products. It was innovative across several product lines. Sony was a global consumer electronics leader. But, over the lat several years, Sony has fallen on hard times (as we noted before).

Now, we have to question whether Sony is in denial about how its marketplace standing has fallen. The firm’s Web site still says: “At Sony, our mission is to be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity. Our unlimited passion for technology, content and services, and relentless pursuit of innovation, drives us to deliver ground-breaking new excitement and entertainment in ways that only Sony can. Creating unique new cultures and experiences. Everything we do, is to move you emotionally.  BE MOVED.”

Many outsiders believe that Sony is at a critical time in its history — and that its short-run activities will affect whether the company can recover.

Consider these gloomy observations from Knowledge@Wharton:

“For generations raised on portable music made possible by the Sony transistor radio and Walkman, the Japanese firm’s decline is almost unfathomable. Yet, today’s young consumers hardly know what Sony manufactures, let alone have much interest in owning its products. The hard reality for Sony Corp., decades after its innovation and marketing made it a household name worldwide, is that the company is no longer a leading global brand in electronics.

“ ‘Sony is finished and there is no hope it can turn around. The hardware side is completely finished,’ says Sea-Jin Chang, a professor at the Business School of the National University of Singapore and author of the book, Sony vs. Samsung: The Inside Story of the Electronics Giants’ Battle for Supremacy. ‘Older people like me still appreciate the Sony brand, but I have to explain to my students at the university what Sony is.’”

 “Sony’s retreat is striking, says Benjamin Cavender, principal and senior analyst on consumer electronics at China Research Group, based in Shanghai. ‘If you go to any consumer electronics market in Asia, you are not seeing Sony much anymore. You are seeing Samsung everywhere,’ he notes. ‘If you look at Sony stores and Apple stores in China, the Apple stores are all nicer. If you look at billboards, Samsung billboards are all bigger than Sony billboards. There is nothing to make you think Sony is the first choice anymore.’”

 

Click the image to read more from Knowledge@Wharton.

 

 

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