Sony takes on Apple

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Randy Savicky
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Sony takes on Apple

Sony combines TV, iPhone, Tomtom GPS, PS3, PSP, etc.
Sony must be reading my blog, since just last week I suggested Sony take on Apple by offering a universal multi-media device that does gaming, mobile calling, video playback, MP3 music, and GPS navigation. I jokingingly called this hypothetical Sony device the Sony PlayStation Multimedia Video GPS Phone - or Sony PSMVGP for short. I knew Sony would be the perfect company to take on Apple and especially that juggernaut known as the Apple iPhone, when I said, "Sony, an expert in electronics, TV screens, and gaming, is the perfect company to take on the Apple iPhone."

I explained last week, "Sony If Sony were smart, they'd come out with a Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) with built-in GPS, GSM cellular service, and wireless Internet functionality. This hypothetical device would blow away the Apple iPhone. It would offer awesome 3D gaming, cell phone functionality, Internet/email access, video playback, and GPS navigation. The device would have everything you need for long trips with the kids. They can play videogames, watch videos, or access the Internet. What more do you need? Sony, an expert in electronics, TV screens, and gaming, is the perfect company to take on the Apple iPhone."

Just a few days later Sony launched the Sony Walkman NWZ-A801 and NWZ-S610, which were obviously targeting the Apple iPod MP3/video player. Once again, I tried to prod Sony into launching my "ultimate converged gadget" when I wrote, "These two new series combo audio/video portable players are a great start for Sony. But I'm still waiting for Sony to create the Sony PlayStation Portable Multimedia Video GPS Phone or Sony PSMVGP for short. It would combine a Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) with built-in GPS, GSM cellular service, and wireless Internet functionality. Then life would be good. "

Well, today there is a big story in the Wall Street Journal saying, "Sony Corp., Chief Executive Howard Stringer is quietly preparing a big move to expand the company and challenge rival Apple..." The article goes on to say, "People familiar with the situation say Mr. Stringer is planning to use Sony's technology-packed PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable videogame machines, along with its Bravia high-definition televisions, to develop products and services to let users download television shows and movies, similar to the way they download music and videos using Apple's iTunes store and iPods."

I'll be damned if that quote isn't nearly identical to what I was saying last week. Of course, there is no mention of GPS navigation or mobile phone functionality, but I wouldn't be surprised if through the Sony Ericsson relationship they developed a mobile phone with high-end multimedia and GPS functionality.

What is very interesting is that in addition to the news today that "Sony is going to take on Apple" is that Sony Ericsson President Miles Flint today announced he was stepping down to be replaced by Dick Komiyama, current chairman of the board at Sony Electronics, USA. Replaced by someone at Sony Electronics? Could something be afoot? This is a very interesting restructuring. Could Sony be looking to leverage their expertise in electronics and home entertainment and bring it to their Sony Ericsson mobile phone division? While my prophetic words from last week were somewhat of an obvious prediction, my timing was certainly impeccable!


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