Sony Plans to Mimic Apple's Business Model
It might sound like overkill, but this is actually the company's strategy to become more like its California-based competitor, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). This is a role-reversal for the two tech companies; not too long ago, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs wanted his firm to be more like Sony.
"The whole strategy for Apple now is, if you will, to be the Sony of the computer business," Jobs told Fortune in November 1998. During that year, Sony was one of the world's largest tech manufacturers. PlayStation, the company's first console, had become the number-one home gaming device in the world.
Four years later, Jobs told Time Magazine that he would, "rather compete with Sony than compete in another product category with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT)." At that time, Sony had produced the number-one game console, PlayStation 2, and was only months away from releasing Spider-Man, the year's number-one film with a domestic gross of more than $400 million.
In more recent years, the Japanese tech giant has been struggling to build products that are both profitable and hugely popular. As of June 30, Sony has sold more than two million PS Vita units, meeting the company's internal expectations. However, Apple sold 17 million iPads in just one quarter alone.
Sony hopes that it can imitate Apple's success by selling its own brand of high-end products, starting with a $399 tablet that looks a lot like Microsoft's first tablet, Surface.
Phil Molyneux, the president and COO of Sony's U.S. division, told ABC News that consumers can expect to see, "more of this great innovation at the higher end and the more premium segment."
"We will put more emphasis there," he said.
Sony also hopes to profit by telling the story of Apple's founder. In 2011, the company acquired the film rights to the authorized Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson.
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