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 . 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 Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent
company of the
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
TOKYO TSUSHIN KOGYO
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 Tsushin Kogyo
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".
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
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 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
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 "sonny boys", was a loan word into
Japanese which connoted smart and presentable young men, which Sony
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 until January
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 Electronic Industries, or
Sony Teletech. Akio
Morita was firm, however, as he did not want the company name tied to
any particular industry. Eventually, both Ibuka and
chairman gave their approval.
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
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 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.
Sony played a major role in the development of
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 was able to charge
above-market prices for its consumer electronics and resisted lowering
Masaru Ibuka handed the position of president over to his
co-founder Akio Morita.
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
Norio Ohga took up the role of president. He encouraged the
development of the
Compact Disc in the 1970s and 1980s, and of the
PlayStation in the early 1990s. Ohga went on to purchase CBS Records
in 1988 and
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 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 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 was promoted to president
and CEO, replacing Stringer. Shortly thereafter, Hirai outlined his
company-wide initiative, named "One Sony" to revive
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 Store in
Markville Shopping Centre in 2014
In February 2014,
Sony announced the sale of its
Vaio PC division to
a new corporation owned by investment fund
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 games consoles and
associated software in China.
FORMATS AND TECHNOLOGIES
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List of Sony trademarks
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
Blu-ray Disc .
The company launched the
Betamax videocassette recording format in
Sony became embroiled in the infamous videotape format war of
the early 1980s, when
Sony was marketing the
Betamax system for video
cassette recorders against the
VHS format developed by
JVC . In the
VHS gained critical mass in the marketbase and became the
worldwide standard for consumer VCRs.
Betamax is for all practical purposes an obsolete format, a
professional-oriented component video format called
Betacam that was
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.
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 launched the 4 mm DAT or
Digital Audio Tape as a new digital audio tape standard.
In 1979 the
Walkman brand was introduced, in the form of the world's
first portable music player using the compact cassette format. Sony
MiniDisc format in 1992 as an alternative to Philips
Digital Compact Cassette
Digital Compact Cassette and as a successor to the compact
cassette. Since the introduction of MiniDisc,
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 line of digital portable music players did not support the MP3
Sony built upon the
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.
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 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
Dolby Digital standards in the motion picture industry. SDDS was
solely developed for use in the theatre circuit;
Sony never intended
to develop a home theatre version of SDDS.
Philips jointly developed the Sony-
Philips digital interface
S/PDIF ) and the high-fidelity audio system SACD . The latter
has since been entrenched in a format war with
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
Sony followed their counterpart
Philips to the Compact Disc
(CD). In addition to developing consumer-based recording media, after
the launch of the CD
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
Discman series which extended their
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 (MMCD), backed by
Philips and Sony, and the other was the Super Density disc (SD),
Toshiba and many others.
Sony abandoned their
MMCD format and agreed upon Toshiba's SD format with only one
modification. The unified disc format was called
DVD and was
introduced in 1997.
Sony was one of the leading developers of the
Blu-ray Disc optical
disc format, the newest standard for disc-based content delivery. The
Blu-ray players became commercially available in 2006. The
format emerged as the standard for HD media over the competing format,
HD DVD , after a two-year-long high definition optical disc
format war .
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.
great success and the format became dominant. 3.5" floppy disks
gradually became obsolete as they were replaced by current media
Sony launched in 1998 their
Memory Stick format, flash memory cards
for use in
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 format with
Memory Stick Duo and
Memory Stick Micro .
Sony offers products in a variety of product lines around the world.
Sony has developed a music playing robot called Rolly , dog-shaped
AIBO and a humanoid robot called
As of 1 April 2016,
Sony is organized into the following business
segments: Mobile Communications (MC), Game & Network Services (G&NS),
Imaging Products & Solutions (IP&S), Home
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">
Westfield Riccarton shopping
Christchurch , New Zealand
Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent
company of the
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
Sony Global Manufacturing ４ plants in Japan), Sony
Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (7 plants in Japan), Sony
Storage Media and Devices Corporation,
Sony Energy Devices Corporation
and its subsidiaries outside
Brazil , China, UK (
Singapore , South Korea,
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 rolled most of its consumer content
services (including video, music and gaming) into the Sony
Entertainment Network .
Sony produced the world's first portable music player, the
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 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
Ericsson mobile phones.
Sony utilized a related brand, Discman, to refer to its CD players.
It dropped this name in the late 1990s.
Sony produced computers (
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.
again into the global computer market under the new
VAIO brand, began
in 1996. Short for "Video Audio Integrated Operation", the line was
the first computer brand to highlight visual-audio features.
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
On 4 February 2014,
Sony announced that it would sell its
business due to poor sales and Japanese company
Partners (JIP) will purchase the
VAIO brand, with the deal finalized
by the end of March 2014.
Sony maintains a minority stake in the new,
Photography And Videography
Sony Action-camera with underwater housing
Sony offers a wide range of digital cameras. Point-and-shoot models
Cyber-shot name, while digital single-lens reflex models are
branded using Alpha .
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 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 is the
world's third largest manufacturer of the cameras, behind Canon and
There are also a variety of Camcorders which are manufactured by
Sony introduced the
Trinitron brand name for its lines of
aperture grille cathode ray tube televisions and (later) computer
Sony stopped production of
Trinitron for most markets, but
continued producing sets for markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and
Sony discontinued its series of
Trinitron computer monitors in
2005. The company discontinued the last Trinitron-based television set
in the USA in early 2007. The end of
Trinitron marked the end of
Sony's analog television sets and monitors.
Sony used the LCD
WEGA name for its LCD TVs until summer 2005. The
company then introduced the
BRAVIA is an in house brand
Sony which produces high-definition LCD televisions,
projection TVs and front projectors, home cinemas and the
theatre range. All
Sony high-definition flat-panel LCD televisions in
North America have carried the logo for
BRAVIA since 2005.
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 agreed to sell all stake in an LCD joint
Electronics for about $940 million. On 28 March
Sony Corporation and
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
On November 9, 2015
Sony announced that they are going to stop
Betamax Tapes in March 2016.
Sony also sells a range of
DVD players . It has shifted its focus in
recent years to promoting the
Blu-ray format, including discs and
Semiconductor And Components
Sony produces a wide range of semiconductors and electronic
components including image sensors (
Exmor ), image processor (
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 .
Sony has targeted medical, healthcare and biotechnology business as a
growth sector in the future. The company acquired iCyt Mission
Technology, Inc. (renamed
Sony Biotechnology Inc. in 2012), a
manufacture of flow cytometers, in 2010 and Micronics, Inc., a
developer of microfluidics-based diagnostic tools, in 2011.
Sony announced that it will acquire all shares of So-net
Entertainment Corporation , which is the majority shareholder of M3,
Inc., an operator of portal sites (m3.com, MR-kun,
MEDI:GATE) for healthcare professionals.
On 28 September 2012, Olympus and
Sony announced that the two
companies will establish a joint venture to develop new surgical
4K resolution (or higher) and 3D capability. Sony
Olympus Medical Solutions Inc. (
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
Sony Mobile Communications Inc. (formerly
Sony Ericsson) is a
multinational mobile phone manufacturing company headquartered in
Japan and a wholly owned subsidiary of
Sony entered into a joint venture with Swedish
Ericsson , forming
Ericsson . Initial
sales were rocky, and the company posted losses in 2001 and 2002.
However, SMC reached a profit in 2003.
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 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 and LG ). By 2010, its market share had fallen to sixth
Sony Mobile Communications now focuses exclusively on the
smartphone market under the
Xperia name. In 2015,
Sony released Xperia
Z5 Premium in Canada following US and Europe.
In the year 2013,
Sony contributed to two percent of the mobile phone
market with 37 million mobile phones sold.
Sony Interactive Entertainment
is the best-selling video game console of all time.
Sony Computer Entertainment)
is best known for producing the popular line of
The line grew out of a failed partnership with Nintendo. Originally,
Nintendo requested for
Sony to develop an add-on for its console that
would play Compact Discs . In 1991
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 then continued the project
Launched in 1994, the first
PlayStation gained 61% of global console
sales and broke Nintendo's long-standing lead in the market. Sony
followed up with the
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 released the
PlayStation 3 , a high-definition console, in 2006. It was the first
console to use the
Blu-ray format, although its expensive Cell
processor made it considerably more expensive than competitors Xbox
Wii . Early on, poor sales performance resulted in significant
losses for the company, pushing it to sell the console at a loss .
PlayStation 3 sold generally more poorly than its competitors in
the early years of its release but managed to overtake the
Xbox 360 in
global sales later on. It later introduced the
PlayStation Move , an
accessory that allows players to control video games using motion
Sony extended the brand to the portable games market in 2005 with the
PlayStation Portable (PSP). The console has sold reasonably, but has
taken a second place to a rival handheld, the
Nintendo DS . Sony
Universal Media Disc (UMD) optical disc medium for use
PlayStation Portable. Early on, the format was used for movies,
but it has since lost major studio support.
Sony released a disc-less
version of its
PlayStation Portable, the PSP Go. The company went on
to release its second portable video game system,
PlayStation Vita ,
in 2011 and 2012.
Sony launched its fourth console, the
, on 15 November 2013, which as of 3 January 2016 has sold 35.9
On 18 March 2014, at GDC , President of
Sony Computer Entertainment
Shuhei Yoshida announced their new virtual reality
technology dubbed Project Morpheus, and later named
PlayStation VR ,
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,
leading the virtual reality patent race. According to the firm’s
analysis of nearly 12,000 patents or patent applications,
Sony has 366
virtual reality patents or patent applications.
PlayStation VR was
released worldwide on 13 October 2016.
ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND BATTERIES
Sony participated within
NRG Energy eVgo Ready for Electric
Vehicle (REV) program, for
EV charging parking lots.
Sony is in the business of electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries .
IT giants such as
Google (driverless car ) and Apple (iCar/Project
Titan ) are working on electric vehicles and self driving cars ,
competing with Tesla ;
Sony is entering into this field by investing
$842,000 in the ZMP company.
On July 28, 2016,
Sony announced that the company will sell its
battery business to
Murata Manufacturing .
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Plaza, next to the
main studio lot of
Sony Pictures in
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 , The Karate Kid
Men in Black 3
Men in Black 3 . It has also produced the popular television game
Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune .
Sony entered the television and film production market when it
Entertainment in 1989 for $3.4 billion.
Columbia lives on in the
Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group , a
division of SPE which in turn owns
Columbia Pictures and TriStar
Pictures among other film production and distribution companies such
Screen Gems ,
Sony Pictures Classics ,
Sony Pictures Home
Entertainment . SPE's television division is known as
For the first several years of its existence,
Entertainment performed poorly, leading many to suspect the company
would sell off the division.
controversy in the early 2000s. In July 2000, a marketing executive
Sony Corporation created a fictitious film critic, David
Manning , who gave consistently good reviews for releases from Sony
Columbia Pictures that generally received poor reviews
amongst real critics.
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
ARccOS Protection on some of their film DVDs, but later
issued a recall.
Sony Music Entertainment
Entertainment (also known as SME or
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 ,
The Beatles ,
Akon and others.
In one of its largest-ever acquisitions,
Sony purchased CBS Record
Group in 1987 for US$2 billion. In the process,
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
Sony Music Entertainment, which
Sony established in 1991.
Sony entered into a joint venture with
Bertelsmann AG ,
Bertelsmann Music Group
Bertelsmann Music Group to
Sony BMG . In 2005,
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
Famous Music for US$370 million, gaining the rights
to the catalogues of
Eminem and Akon, among others.
Sony bought out Bertelsmann's share in the company and formed a new
Entertainment in 2008. Since then, the company has
undergone management changes. In January 1988,
Sony acquired CBS
Records and the 50% of CBS/
Sony Group. In March 1988, four wholly
owned subsidiaries were folded into CBS/
Sony Group and the company was
Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Besides its record label,
Sony operates other music businesses. In
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.
digital music recognition company
Gracenote for $260 million USD in
2008. As of 2016,
Sony owns all of Sony/ATV.
Sony Financial Holdings is a holding company for Sony's financial
services business. It owns and oversees the operation of
Sony Life (in
Japan and the Philippines),
Sony Bank and
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 Financial's low fees have aided
the unit's popularity while threatening Sony's premium brand name.
Sony wants to contend with Apple and
Samsung on mobile payments in
Sony plans to use its contact-less payment technology to make
ground in the public transportation industry across Asia. The system,
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 plans to implement this technology in
train systems in Indonesia as early as Spring 2016.
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 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 had a market capitalization of $100 billion;
but by December 2011 it had plunged to $18 billion, reflecting falling
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;
Sony has always traded in over-priced ranges with the exception
of the 2009 market bottom.
In April 2012,
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
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
TOTAL SALES (YEN IN MILLIONS)
On 9 December 2008,
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 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 announced it would trim as many as 5,000
jobs as it attempts to sell its PC business and focus on mobile and
In November 2011,
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.
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
Sony fell from its earlier
11th-place ranking due to
Greenpeace 's claims that
Sony had double
standards in their waste policies.
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 has said that they have signed on to have about 75 percent of
Sony Building running on geothermal power . The "
Sony Take Back
Recycling Program" allow consumers to recycle the electronics products
that they buy from
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
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.
EYE SEE Project
Sony Corporation is actively involved in the EYE SEE project
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 assists The South Africa Primary Education Support Initiative
(SAPESI) through financial donations and children book donations to
the South Africa Mobile Library Project.
Sony Canada Charitable Foundation
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 Foundation And You Can
After the 2011 Queensland floods and Victorian bushfires ,
released benefit albums with money raised going to the Sony
Foundation. You Can is the youth cancer program of
Open Planet Ideas Crowdsourcing Project
Sony launched its Open Planet Ideas Crowdsourcing Project, in
partnership with the
World Wildlife Fund
World Wildlife Fund and the design group,
Street Football Stadium Project
On the occasion of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil,
Sony partnered with
streetfootballworld and launched the Street Football Stadium Project
to support football-based educational programmes in local communities
Latin America and Brazil. More than 25 Street Stadiums were
developed since the project's inception.
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List of Sony subsidiaries
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* Made in
Akio Morita and Sony,
* Sony: The Private Life by
John Nathan , Houghton Mifflin (1999)
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
Japan Project: Made in
Japan – a documentary about Sony's
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