Another storied powerhouse in branded product innovation may be throwing in the towel. It seems that Sony’s USA operation is fixated on bringing lower priced, contract manufactured, me-too cheap products to market as their primary growth play. What happened to the Apple-esque Sony who brought us the famed Walkman? What happened to the Sony whose core competence in miniaturization was unparalleled and drooled over by academics and authors of the day?
Are me-too, low priced products sold through uninspired consumer electronics customer experiences the future for Sony? Look where that strategy led CompUSA and Circuit City.
“We have no alternative but to dramatically change the fundamental ways we do our business” said CEO Howard Stringer not long ago. Is the new “under $200 Webbie HD” squeezed into current retail shelves with a 4X4 inch promotional sign three years after rival products were introduced, the evidence of those new business model changes?
If so, the bar has been lowered not raised. As an old Sony devotee it really saddens me.