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SONY CORPORATION (ソニー株式会社, Sonī Kabushiki Kaisha , /ˈsoʊni/ ) (often referred to simply as SONY) is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo
Minato, Tokyo
. Its diversified business includes consumer and professional electronics , gaming , entertainment , and financial services . The company is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets. Sony was ranked 113th on the 2016 list of Fortune Global 500 .

Sony
Sony
Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony
Sony
Group (ソニー・グループ, Sonī Gurūpu), which is engaged in business through its four operating components: electronics (AV, IT "> Masaru Ibuka , the co-founder of Sony
Sony

TOKYO TSUSHIN KOGYO

Sony
Sony
began in the wake of World War II
World War II
. In 1946, Masaru Ibuka started an electronics shop in a department store building in Tokyo. The company started with a capital of ¥190,000 and a total of eight employees. In the following year he was joined by his colleague, Akio Morita , and they founded a company called Tokyo
Tokyo
Tsushin Kogyo 東京通信工業 ( Tokyo
Tokyo
Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). The company built Japan's first tape recorder , called the Type-G. In 1958 the company changed its name to "Sony".

NAME

When Tokyo
Tokyo
Tsushin Kogyo was looking for a romanized name to use to market themselves, they strongly considered using their initials, TTK. The primary reason they did not is that the railway company Tokyo Kyuko was known as TTK. The company occasionally used the acronym "Totsuko" in Japan
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
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
Latin
word "sonus", which is the root of sonic and sound, and the other was "sonny", a common slang term used in 1950s America to call a boy. In the 1950s Japan
Japan
"sonny boys", was a loan word into Japanese which connoted smart and presentable young men, which Sony founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka considered themselves to be.

The first Sony-branded product, the TR-55 transistor radio , appeared in 1955 but the company name did not change to Sony
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
Sony
Electronic Industries, or Sony
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.

GLOBALIZATION

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.

Sony
Sony
co-founder Akio Morita founded Sony Corporation of America
Sony Corporation of America
in 1960. In the process, he was struck by the mobility of employees between American companies, which was unheard of in Japan
Japan
at that time. When he returned to Japan, he encouraged experienced, middle-aged employees of other companies to reevaluate their careers and consider joining Sony. The company filled many positions in this manner, and inspired other Japanese companies to do the same. Moreover, Sony
Sony
played a major role in the development of Japan
Japan
as a powerful exporter during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. It also helped to significantly improve American perceptions of "made in Japan" products. Known for its production quality, Sony
Sony
was able to charge above-market prices for its consumer electronics and resisted lowering prices.

In 1971, Masaru Ibuka handed the position of president over to his co-founder Akio Morita. Sony
Sony
began a life insurance company in 1979, one of its many peripheral businesses. Amid a global recession in the early 1980s, electronics sales dropped and the company was forced to cut prices. Sony's profits fell sharply. "It's over for Sony," one analyst concluded. "The company's best days are behind it." Around that time, Norio Ohga took up the role of president. He encouraged the development of the Compact Disc
Compact Disc
in the 1970s and 1980s, and of the PlayStation
PlayStation
in the early 1990s. Ohga went on to purchase CBS Records in 1988 and Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
in 1989, greatly expanding Sony's media presence. Ohga would succeed Morita as chief executive officer in 1989. Under the vision of co-founder Akio Morita and his successors, the company had aggressively expanded into new businesses. Part of its motivation for doing so was the pursuit of "convergence," linking film, music and digital electronics via the Internet. This expansion proved unrewarding and unprofitable, threatening Sony's ability to charge a premium on its products as well as its brand name. In 2005, Howard Stringer
Howard Stringer
replaced Nobuyuki Idei as chief executive officer , marking the first time that a foreigner had run a major Japanese electronics firm. Stringer helped to reinvigorate the company's struggling media businesses, encouraging blockbusters such as Spider-Man
Spider-Man
while cutting 9,000 jobs. He hoped to sell off peripheral business and focus the company again on electronics. Furthermore, he aimed to increase cooperation between business units, which he described as "silos" operating in isolation from one another. In a bid to provide a unified brand for its global operations, Sony introduced a slogan known as "make.believe" in 2009.

Despite some successes, the company faced continued struggles in the mid- to late-2000s. In 2012, Kazuo Hirai
Kazuo Hirai
was promoted to president and CEO, replacing Stringer. Shortly thereafter, Hirai outlined his company-wide initiative, named "One Sony" to revive Sony
Sony
from years of financial losses and bureaucratic management structure, which proved difficult for former CEO Stringer to accomplish, partly due to differences in business culture and native languages between Stringer and some of Sony's Japanese divisions and subsidiaries. Hirai outlined three major areas of focus for Sony's electronics business, which include imaging technology, gaming and mobile technology, as well as a focus on reducing the major losses from the television business. Sony
Sony
Store in Markville Shopping Centre in 2014

In February 2014, Sony
Sony
announced the sale of its Vaio
Vaio
PC division to a new corporation owned by investment fund Japan
Japan
Industrial Partners and spinning its TV division into its own corporation as to make it more nimble to turn the unit around from past losses totaling $7.8 billion over a decade. Later that month, they announced that they would be closing 20 stores. In April, the company announced that they would be selling 9.5 million shares in Square Enix (roughly 8.2 percent of the game company's total shares) in a deal worth approximately $48 million. In May 2014 the company announced it was forming two joint ventures with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group to manufacture and market Sony's PlayStation
PlayStation
games consoles and associated software in China.

FORMATS AND TECHNOLOGIES

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Further information: List of Sony trademarks

Sony
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
Blu-ray Disc
.

V IDEO RECORDING

The company launched the Betamax
Betamax
videocassette recording format in 1975. Sony
Sony
became embroiled in the infamous videotape format war of the early 1980s, when Sony
Sony
was marketing the Betamax
Betamax
system for video cassette recorders against the VHS
VHS
format developed by JVC
JVC
. In the end, VHS
VHS
gained critical mass in the marketbase and became the worldwide standard for consumer VCRs.

While Betamax
Betamax
is for all practical purposes an obsolete format, a professional-oriented component video format called Betacam that was derived from Betamax
Betamax
is still used today, especially in the television industry, although far less so in recent years with the introduction of digital and high definition.

In 1985, Sony
Sony
launched their Handycam products and the Video8 format . Video8 and the follow-on hi-band Hi8 format became popular in the consumer camcorder market. In 1987 Sony
Sony
launched the 4 mm DAT or Digital Audio Tape as a new digital audio tape standard.

AUDIO RECORDING

In 1979 the Walkman
Walkman
brand was introduced, in the form of the world's first portable music player using the compact cassette format. Sony introduced the MiniDisc
MiniDisc
format in 1992 as an alternative to Philips DCC or Digital Compact Cassette
Digital Compact Cassette
and as a successor to the compact cassette. Since the introduction of MiniDisc, Sony
Sony
has attempted to promote its own audio compression technologies under the ATRAC brand, against the more widely used MP3. Until late 2004, Sony's Network Walkman
Walkman
line of digital portable music players did not support the MP3 standard natively.

In 2004, Sony
Sony
built upon the MiniDisc
MiniDisc
format by releasing Hi-MD . Hi-MD allows the playback and recording of audio on newly introduced 1 GB Hi-MD discs in addition to playback and recording on regular MiniDiscs. In addition to saving audio on the discs, Hi-MD allows the storage of computer files such as documents, videos and photos.

AUDIO ENCODING

In 1993, Sony
Sony
challenged the industry standard Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound format with a newer and more advanced proprietary motion picture digital audio format called SDDS ( Sony
Sony
Dynamic Digital Sound). This format employed eight channels (7.1) of audio opposed to just six used in Dolby Digital 5.1 at the time. Ultimately, SDDS has been vastly overshadowed by the preferred DTS (Digital Theatre System ) and Dolby Digital standards in the motion picture industry. SDDS was solely developed for use in the theatre circuit; Sony
Sony
never intended to develop a home theatre version of SDDS.

Sony
Sony
and Philips
Philips
jointly developed the Sony- Philips
Philips
digital interface format ( S/PDIF
S/PDIF
) and the high-fidelity audio system SACD . The latter has since been entrenched in a format war with DVD-Audio
DVD-Audio
. At present, neither has gained a major foothold with the general public. CDs are preferred by consumers because of ubiquitous presence of CD drives in consumer devices.

OPTICAL STORAGE

In 1983, Sony
Sony
followed their counterpart Philips
Philips
to the Compact Disc (CD). In addition to developing consumer-based recording media, after the launch of the CD Sony
Sony
began development of commercially based recording media. In 1986 they launched Write-Once optical discs (WO) and in 1988 launched Magneto-optical discs which were around 125MB size for the specific use of archival data storage. In 1984, Sony launched the Discman series which extended their Walkman
Walkman
brand to portable CD products.

In the early 1990s, two high-density optical storage standards were being developed: one was the MultiMedia Compact Disc
Compact Disc
(MMCD), backed by Philips
Philips
and Sony, and the other was the Super Density disc (SD), supported by Toshiba
Toshiba
and many others. Philips
Philips
and Sony
Sony
abandoned their MMCD format and agreed upon Toshiba's SD format with only one modification. The unified disc format was called DVD
DVD
and was introduced in 1997.

Sony
Sony
was one of the leading developers of the Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc
optical disc format, the newest standard for disc-based content delivery. The first Blu-ray
Blu-ray
players became commercially available in 2006. The format emerged as the standard for HD media over the competing format, Toshiba's HD DVD , after a two-year-long high definition optical disc format war .

DISK STORAGE

In 1983 Sony
Sony
introduced 90 mm micro diskettes (better known as 3.5-inch (89 mm) floppy disks ), which it had developed at a time when there were 4" floppy disks, and a lot of variations from different companies, to replace the then on-going 5.25" floppy disks. Sony
Sony
had great success and the format became dominant. 3.5" floppy disks gradually became obsolete as they were replaced by current media formats.

FLASH MEMORY

Sony
Sony
launched in 1998 their Memory Stick
Memory Stick
format, flash memory cards for use in Sony
Sony
lines of digital cameras and portable music players. It has seen little support outside of Sony's own products, with Secure Digital cards (SD) commanding considerably greater popularity. Sony has made updates to the Memory Stick
Memory Stick
format with Memory Stick
Memory Stick
Duo and Memory Stick
Memory Stick
Micro .

BUSINESS UNITS

Sony
Sony
offers products in a variety of product lines around the world. Sony
Sony
has developed a music playing robot called Rolly , dog-shaped robots called AIBO
AIBO
and a humanoid robot called QRIO .

As of 1 April 2016, Sony
Sony
is organized into the following business segments: Mobile Communications (MC), Game & Network Services (G&NS), Imaging Products & Solutions (IP&S), Home Entertainment
Entertainment
& Sound (HE&S), Semiconductors, Components, Pictures, Music, Financial Services and All Other. The network and medical businesses are included in the G&NS and IP"> Sony
Sony
at Westfield Riccarton shopping centre in Christchurch
Christchurch
, New Zealand

Sony
Sony
Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony
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
Sony
Global Manufacturing 4 plants in Japan), Sony Semiconductor
Semiconductor
Manufacturing Corporation (7 plants in Japan), Sony Storage Media and Devices Corporation, Sony
Sony
Energy Devices Corporation and its subsidiaries outside Japan
Japan
( Brazil
Brazil
, China, UK ( Wales
Wales
), India, Malaysia
Malaysia
, Singapore
Singapore
, South Korea, Thailand
Thailand
, Ireland and United States) are responsible for manufacturing as well as product engineering (SGMO is also responsible for customer service operations). In 2012, Sony
Sony
rolled most of its consumer content services (including video, music and gaming) into the Sony Entertainment
Entertainment
Network .

Audio

Sony
Sony
produced the world's first portable music player, the Walkman
Walkman
in 1979. This line fostered a fundamental change in music listening habits by allowing people to carry music with them and listen to music through lightweight headphones. Walkman
Walkman
originally referred to portable audio cassette players. The company now uses the Walkman brand to market its portable audio and video players as well as a line of former Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
mobile phones.

Sony
Sony
utilized a related brand, Discman, to refer to its CD players. It dropped this name in the late 1990s.

Computing

Sony
Sony
produced computers ( MSX
MSX
home computers and NEWS workstations ) during the 1980s, exclusively for sale in the Japanese market. The company withdrew from the computer business around 1990. Sony
Sony
entered again into the global computer market under the new VAIO
VAIO
brand, began in 1996. Short for "Video Audio Integrated Operation", the line was the first computer brand to highlight visual-audio features.

Sony
Sony
faced considerable controversy when some of its laptop batteries exploded and caught fire in 2006, resulting in the largest computer-related recall to that point in history.

In a bid to join the tablet computer market, the company launched its Sony Tablet line of Android tablets in 2011. Since 2012, Sony's Android products have been marketed under the Xperia brand used for its smartphones.

On 4 February 2014, Sony
Sony
announced that it would sell its VAIO
VAIO
PC business due to poor sales and Japanese company Japan
Japan
Industrial Partners (JIP) will purchase the VAIO
VAIO
brand, with the deal finalized by the end of March 2014. Sony
Sony
maintains a minority stake in the new, independent company.

Photography And Videography

A Sony
Sony
Action-camera with underwater housing

Sony
Sony
offers a wide range of digital cameras. Point-and-shoot models adopt the Cyber-shot
Cyber-shot
name, while digital single-lens reflex models are branded using Alpha .

The first Cyber-shot
Cyber-shot
was introduced in 1996. At the time, digital cameras were a relative novelty. Sony's market share of the digital camera market fell from a high of 20% to 9% by 2005.

Sony
Sony
entered the market for digital single-lens reflex cameras in 2006 when it acquired the camera business of Konica Minolta . Sony rebranded the company's line of cameras as its Alpha line. Sony
Sony
is the world's third largest manufacturer of the cameras, behind Canon and Nikon
Nikon
respectively.

There are also a variety of Camcorders which are manufactured by Sony.

Video

In 1968 Sony
Sony
introduced the Trinitron
Trinitron
brand name for its lines of aperture grille cathode ray tube televisions and (later) computer monitors . Sony
Sony
stopped production of Trinitron
Trinitron
for most markets, but continued producing sets for markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and China. Sony
Sony
discontinued its series of Trinitron
Trinitron
computer monitors in 2005. The company discontinued the last Trinitron-based television set in the USA in early 2007. The end of Trinitron
Trinitron
marked the end of Sony's analog television sets and monitors.

Sony
Sony
used the LCD WEGA name for its LCD TVs until summer 2005. The company then introduced the BRAVIA name. BRAVIA is an in house brand owned by Sony
Sony
which produces high-definition LCD televisions, projection TVs and front projectors, home cinemas and the BRAVIA home theatre range. All Sony
Sony
high-definition flat-panel LCD televisions in North America have carried the logo for BRAVIA since 2005. Sony
Sony
is the third-largest maker of televisions in the world. As of 2012 , Sony's television business has been unprofitable for eight years.

In December 2011, Sony
Sony
agreed to sell all stake in an LCD joint venture with Samsung
Samsung
Electronics
Electronics
for about $940 million. On 28 March 2012, Sony
Sony
Corporation and Sharp Corporation
Sharp Corporation
announced that they have agreed to further amend the joint venture agreement originally executed by the parties in July 2009, as amended in April 2011, for the establishment and operation of Sharp Display Products Corporation ("SDP"), a joint venture to produce and sell large-sized LCD panels and modules.

On November 9, 2015 Sony
Sony
announced that they are going to stop producing Betamax
Betamax
Tapes in March 2016.

Sony
Sony
also sells a range of DVD
DVD
players . It has shifted its focus in recent years to promoting the Blu-ray
Blu-ray
format, including discs and players.

Semiconductor
Semiconductor
And Components

Sony
Sony
produces a wide range of semiconductors and electronic components including image sensors ( Exmor ), image processor ( BIONZ ), laser diodes, system LSIs, mixed-signal LSIs, OLED panels, etc. The company has a strong presence in the image sensor market. Sony-manufactured CMOS image sensors are widely used in digital cameras , tablet computers and smartphones .

Medical-related Business

Sony
Sony
has targeted medical, healthcare and biotechnology business as a growth sector in the future. The company acquired iCyt Mission Technology, Inc. (renamed Sony
Sony
Biotechnology Inc. in 2012), a manufacture of flow cytometers, in 2010 and Micronics, Inc., a developer of microfluidics-based diagnostic tools, in 2011.

In 2012, Sony
Sony
announced that it will acquire all shares of So-net Entertainment
Entertainment
Corporation , which is the majority shareholder of M3, Inc., an operator of portal sites (m3.com, MR-kun, MDLinx and MEDI:GATE) for healthcare professionals.

On 28 September 2012, Olympus and Sony
Sony
announced that the two companies will establish a joint venture to develop new surgical endoscopes with 4K resolution
4K resolution
(or higher) and 3D capability. Sony Olympus Medical Solutions Inc. ( Sony
Sony
51%, Olympus 49%) was established on 16 April 2013.

On 28 February 2014, Sony, M3 and Illumina established a joint venture called P5, Inc. to provide a genome analysis service for research institutions and enterprises in Japan.

Sony Mobile Communications

Main article: Sony Mobile

Sony Mobile Communications Inc. (formerly Sony
Sony
Ericsson) is a multinational mobile phone manufacturing company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan
Japan
and a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony
Sony
Corporation.

In 2001, Sony
Sony
entered into a joint venture with Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson
Ericsson
, forming Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
. Initial sales were rocky, and the company posted losses in 2001 and 2002. However, SMC reached a profit in 2003. Sony
Sony
Ericsson
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
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
Samsung
and LG ). By 2010, its market share had fallen to sixth place. Sony Mobile Communications now focuses exclusively on the smartphone market under the Xperia name. In 2015, Sony
Sony
released Xperia Z5 Premium in Canada following US and Europe.

In the year 2013, Sony
Sony
contributed to two percent of the mobile phone market with 37 million mobile phones sold.

Sony
Sony
Interactive Entertainment

Main article: Sony
Sony
Interactive Entertainment
Entertainment
The PlayStation
PlayStation
2 is the best-selling video game console of all time.

Sony
Sony
Interactive Entertainment
Entertainment
(formerly Sony
Sony
Computer Entertainment) is best known for producing the popular line of PlayStation
PlayStation
consoles. The line grew out of a failed partnership with Nintendo. Originally, Nintendo
Nintendo
requested for Sony
Sony
to develop an add-on for its console that would play Compact Discs . In 1991 Sony
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
Sony
then continued the project independently.

Launched in 1994, the first PlayStation
PlayStation
gained 61% of global console sales and broke Nintendo's long-standing lead in the market. Sony followed up with the PlayStation
PlayStation
2 in 2000, which was even more successful. The console has become the most successful of all time, selling over 150 million units as of 2011 . Sony
Sony
released the PlayStation
PlayStation
3 , a high-definition console, in 2006. It was the first console to use the Blu-ray
Blu-ray
format, although its expensive Cell processor made it considerably more expensive than competitors Xbox 360 and Wii
Wii
. Early on, poor sales performance resulted in significant losses for the company, pushing it to sell the console at a loss . The PlayStation
PlayStation
3 sold generally more poorly than its competitors in the early years of its release but managed to overtake the Xbox 360
Xbox 360
in global sales later on. It later introduced the PlayStation
PlayStation
Move , an accessory that allows players to control video games using motion gestures.

Sony
Sony
extended the brand to the portable games market in 2005 with the PlayStation
PlayStation
Portable (PSP). The console has sold reasonably, but has taken a second place to a rival handheld, the Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS
. Sony developed the Universal Media Disc (UMD) optical disc medium for use on the PlayStation
PlayStation
Portable. Early on, the format was used for movies, but it has since lost major studio support. Sony
Sony
released a disc-less version of its PlayStation
PlayStation
Portable, the PSP Go. The company went on to release its second portable video game system, PlayStation
PlayStation
Vita , in 2011 and 2012. Sony
Sony
launched its fourth console, the PlayStation
PlayStation
4 , on 15 November 2013, which as of 3 January 2016 has sold 35.9 million units.

On 18 March 2014, at GDC , President of Sony
Sony
Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida
Shuhei Yoshida
announced their new virtual reality technology dubbed Project Morpheus, and later named PlayStation
PlayStation
VR , for PlayStation
PlayStation
4. The headset brought VR gaming and non-gaming software to the company's console. According to a report released by Houston-based patent consulting firm LexInnova in May 2015, Sony
Sony
is leading the virtual reality patent race. According to the firm’s analysis of nearly 12,000 patents or patent applications, Sony
Sony
has 366 virtual reality patents or patent applications. PlayStation
PlayStation
VR was released worldwide on 13 October 2016.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND BATTERIES

See also: Electric vehicle
Electric vehicle

In 2014, Sony
Sony
participated within NRG Energy eVgo Ready for Electric Vehicle (REV) program, for EV charging parking lots.

Sony
Sony
is in the business of electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries .

IT giants such as Google
Google
(driverless car ) and Apple (iCar/Project Titan ) are working on electric vehicles and self driving cars , competing with Tesla ; Sony
Sony
is entering into this field by investing $842,000 in the ZMP company.

On July 28, 2016, Sony
Sony
announced that the company will sell its battery business to Murata Manufacturing .

ENTERTAINMENT

Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures
Entertainment

Main article: Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures
Plaza, next to the main studio lot of Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures
in Culver City
Culver City

Sony Pictures
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 third among movie studios. Its group sales in 2010 were $7.2 billion USD. The company has produced many notable movie franchises, including Spider-Man
Spider-Man
, The Karate Kid and Men in Black 3
Men in Black 3
. It has also produced the popular television game shows Jeopardy!
Jeopardy!
and Wheel of Fortune .

Sony
Sony
entered the television and film production market when it acquired Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
Entertainment
Entertainment
in 1989 for $3.4 billion. Columbia lives on in the Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures
Motion Picture Group , a division of SPE which in turn owns Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
and TriStar Pictures among other film production and distribution companies such as Screen Gems
Screen Gems
, Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures
Classics , Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures
Home Entertainment
Entertainment
. SPE's television division is known as Sony
Sony
Pictures Television .

For the first several years of its existence, Sony
Sony
Pictures Entertainment
Entertainment
performed poorly, leading many to suspect the company would sell off the division. Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures
Entertainment
Entertainment
encountered controversy in the early 2000s. In July 2000, a marketing executive working for Sony
Sony
Corporation created a fictitious film critic, David Manning , who gave consistently good reviews for releases from Sony subsidiary Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
that generally received poor reviews amongst real critics. Sony
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.

Sony Music Entertainment

Main article: Sony Music

Sony Music Entertainment
Entertainment
(also known as SME or Sony
Sony
Music) is the second-largest global recorded music company of the "big three" record companies and is controlled by Sony Corporation of America
Sony Corporation of America
, the United States subsidiary of Japan's Sony. The company owns full or partial rights to the catalogues of Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
, The Beatles
The Beatles
, Usher , Eminem
Eminem
, Akon
Akon
and others.

In one of its largest-ever acquisitions, Sony
Sony
purchased CBS Record Group in 1987 for US$2 billion. In the process, Sony
Sony
gained the rights to the catalogue of Michael Jackson, considered by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the most successful entertainer of all time. The acquisition of CBS Records provided the foundation for the formation of Sony Music Entertainment, which Sony
Sony
established in 1991.

In 2004, Sony
Sony
entered into a joint venture with Bertelsmann AG
Bertelsmann AG
, merging Sony Music Entertainment
Entertainment
with Bertelsmann Music Group
Bertelsmann Music Group
to create Sony BMG
Sony BMG
. In 2005, Sony BMG
Sony BMG
faced a copy protection scandal , because its music CDs had installed malware on users' computers that was posing a security risk to affected customers. In 2007, the company acquired Famous Music for US$370 million, gaining the rights to the catalogues of Eminem
Eminem
and Akon, among others.

Sony
Sony
bought out Bertelsmann's share in the company and formed a new Sony Music Entertainment
Entertainment
in 2008. Since then, the company has undergone management changes. In January 1988, Sony
Sony
acquired CBS Records and the 50% of CBS/ Sony
Sony
Group. In March 1988, four wholly owned subsidiaries were folded into CBS/ Sony
Sony
Group and the company was renamed as Sony Music Entertainment
Entertainment
Japan
Japan

Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Main article: Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Besides its record label, Sony
Sony
operates other music businesses. In 1995, Sony
Sony
purchased a 50% stake in ATV Music Publishing , forming Sony/ATV Music Publishing. At the time, the publishing company was the second-largest of its kind in the world. The company owns much of the publishing rights to the catalog of The Beatles. Sony
Sony
purchased digital music recognition company Gracenote
Gracenote
for $260 million USD in 2008. As of 2016, Sony
Sony
owns all of Sony/ATV.

FINANCE

Financial Services

Sony Financial Holdings is a holding company for Sony's financial services business. It owns and oversees the operation of Sony Life (in Japan
Japan
and the Philippines), Sony
Sony
Assurance, Sony Bank and Sony
Sony
Bank Securities. The company is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Sony Financial accounts for half of Sony's global earnings. The unit proved the most profitable of Sony's businesses in fiscal year 2006, earning $1.7 billion in profit. Sony
Sony
Financial's low fees have aided the unit's popularity while threatening Sony's premium brand name.

Mobile Payments

Sony
Sony
wants to contend with Apple and Samsung
Samsung
on mobile payments in Asia. Sony
Sony
plans to use its contact-less payment technology to make ground in the public transportation industry across Asia. The system, known as FeliCa , relies on two forms of technologies to make it viable, either chips embedded in smartphones or plastic cards with chips embedded in them. Sony
Sony
plans to implement this technology in train systems in Indonesia as early as Spring 2016.

CORPORATE INFORMATION

FINANCES

Sony
Sony
is one of Japan's largest corporations by revenue. It had revenues of ¥6.493 trillion in 2012. It also maintains large reserves of cash, with ¥895 billion on hand as of 2012. In May 2012, Sony shares were valued at about $15 billion.

The company was immensely profitable throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, in part because of the success of its new PlayStation
PlayStation
line. The company encountered financial difficulty in the mid- to late-2000s due to a number of factors: the global financial crisis, increased competition for PlayStation, and the devastating Japanese earthquake of 2011 . The company faced three consecutive years of losses leading up to 2011. While noting the negative effects of intervening circumstances such as natural disasters and fluctuating currency exchange rates, the Financial Times criticized the company for its "lack of resilience" and "inability to gauge the economy." The newspaper voiced skepticism about Sony's revitalization efforts, given a lack of tangible results.

In September 2000 Sony
Sony
had a market capitalization of $100 billion; but by December 2011 it had plunged to $18 billion, reflecting falling prospects for Sony
Sony
but also reflecting grossly inflated share prices of the 'dot.com' years. Net worth, as measured by stockholder equity, has steadily grown from $17.9 billion in March 2002 to $35.6 billion through December 2011. Earnings yield (inverse of the price to earnings ratio) has never been more than 5% and usually much less; thus Sony
Sony
has always traded in over-priced ranges with the exception of the 2009 market bottom.

In April 2012, Sony
Sony
announced that it would reduce its workforce by 10,000 (6% of its employee base) as part of CEO Hirai's effort to get the company back into the black. This came after a loss of 520 billion yen (roughly US$6.36 billion) for fiscal 2012, the worst since the company was founded. Accumulation loss for the past four years was 919.32 billion-yen. Sony
Sony
planned to increase its marketing expenses by 30% in 2012. 1,000 of the jobs cut come from the company's mobile phone unit's workforce. 700 jobs will be cut in the 2012–2013 fiscal year and the remaining 300 in the following fiscal year.

Sony's 2009 sales and distribution by geographical region GEOGRAPHIC REGION TOTAL SALES (YEN IN MILLIONS)

JAPAN 1,873,219

UNITED STATES 2,512,345

EUROPE 2,307,658

OTHER AREAS 2,041,270

On 9 December 2008, Sony
Sony
Corporation announced that it would be cutting 8,000 jobs, dropping 8,000 contractors and reducing its global manufacturing sites by 10% to save $1.1 billion per year.

In January 2013, Sony
Sony
announced it was selling its US headquarters building for $1.1 billion to a consortium led by real estate developer The Chetrit Group.

On 28 January 2014, Moody\'s Investors Services dropped Sony's credit rating to Ba1—"judged to have speculative elements and a significant credit risk"—saying that the company's "profitability is likely to remain weak and volatile."

On 6 February 2014, Sony
Sony
announced it would trim as many as 5,000 jobs as it attempts to sell its PC business and focus on mobile and tablets.

ENVIRONMENTAL RECORD

In November 2011, Sony
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
Philips
, Sony
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
Greenpeace
guide. Sony
Sony
fell from its earlier 11th-place ranking due to Greenpeace
Greenpeace
's claims that Sony
Sony
had double standards in their waste policies.

Since 1976, Sony
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
Sony
has said that they have signed on to have about 75 percent of their Sony
Sony
Building running on geothermal power . The " Sony
Sony
Take Back Recycling Program" allow consumers to recycle the electronics products that they buy from Sony
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.

In 2000, Sony
Sony
faced criticism for a document entitled "NGO Strategy" that was leaked to the press. The document involved the company's surveillance of environmental activists in an attempt to plan how to counter their movements. It specifically mentioned environmental groups that were trying to pass laws that held electronics-producing companies responsible for the cleanup of the toxic chemicals contained in their merchandise.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

EYE SEE Project

Sony
Sony
Corporation is actively involved in the EYE SEE project conducted by UNICEF
UNICEF
. EYE SEE digital photography workshops have been run for children in Argentina, Tunisia, Mali, South Africa, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Rwanda, Liberia and Pakistan.

South Africa Mobile Library Project

Sony
Sony
assists The South Africa Primary Education Support Initiative (SAPESI) through financial donations and children book donations to the South Africa Mobile Library Project.

The Sony
Sony
Canada Charitable Foundation

The Sony
Sony
Canada Charitable Foundation (SCCF) is a non-profit organization which supports three key charities; the Make-A-Wish Canada, the United Way of Canada and the EarthDay and ECOKIDS program.

Sony
Sony
Foundation And You Can

After the 2011 Queensland floods and Victorian bushfires , Sony
Sony
Music released benefit albums with money raised going to the Sony Foundation. You Can is the youth cancer program of Sony
Sony
Foundation.

Open Planet Ideas Crowdsourcing Project

Sony
Sony
launched its Open Planet Ideas Crowdsourcing Project, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund
World Wildlife Fund
and the design group, IDEO .

Street Football Stadium Project

On the occasion of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Sony
Sony
partnered with streetfootballworld and launched the Street Football Stadium Project to support football-based educational programmes in local communities across Latin
Latin
America and Brazil. More than 25 Street Stadiums were developed since the project's inception.

SEE ALSO

* List of companies of Japan
Japan
* List of Sony subsidiaries

* Sony
Sony
portal * Tokyo
Tokyo
portal * Companies portal

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FURTHER READING

* Made in Japan
Japan
by Akio Morita and Sony, HarperCollins
HarperCollins
(1994) * Sony: The Private Life by John Nathan , Houghton Mifflin (1999) * Sony
Sony
Radio, Sony
Sony
Transistor Radio 35th Anniversary 1955–1990 – information booklet (1990) * The Portable Radio in American Life by University of Arizona Professor Michael Brian Schiffer, PhD (The University of Arizona Press, 1991). * The Japan
Japan
Project: Made in Japan
Japan
– a documentary about Sony's early history in the U.S. by Terry Sanders .

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