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2/7/2014
12:34 PM
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Sony Dumps PC Business: Who's Next?

The PC slump became too much for Sony. Other PC makers face the same reality.

Sales of the PlayStation 4 and other consumer tech have been a silver lining for Sony.
(Source: Wikipedia)
Sales of the PlayStation 4 and other consumer tech have been a silver lining for Sony.
(Source: Wikipedia)

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RobPreston
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RobPreston,
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2/10/2014 | 9:39:56 AM
Re: Commodity Business
Sony's problem is that it stopped developing breakthrough products. The Walkman created an entire genre until the iPod and its followers made that product irrelevant. Sony can be only so successful making high-quality versions of commodity hardware products--TVs, PCs, gaming consoles. It needs some breakthrough products. And as my colleague Tom Claburn suggests, it needs to put more of its R&D into software.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
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2/10/2014 | 9:22:34 AM
Re: Commodity Business
I also wonder if a company can be a PC player without also being strong in tablet technology, as the lines blur between the two formats. I was just talking with someone this weekend raving about his Lenova Yoga.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
2/8/2014 | 5:50:08 PM
Re: Commodity Business
Yeah, it's a bit ironic that Sony threw in the towel just as news reports revealed that Steve Jobs had once considered licensing OS X to Sony. Jobs was very partiuclar about the kind of hardware he'd allow his platform to run on. But Sony tried to sell mainly in the higher price brackets-- and only had mild success. Without a presense in the lower ends of the market, Sony was never able to become a big player. And once the consumer market fell out, I imagine the business became tough to justfy.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/8/2014 | 2:26:34 AM
Re: Commodity Business
So no more Sony Vaio laptops and All-in-one-PCs, it kind of sad because those were some fine products and that the division is being sold to an investment fund and not a PC maker. It speaks of the state the PC market is in currently. When Compaq merged with HP, at least it was like with like. Having said this, if we include Smartphone and tablets into the definition of PC then the industry could not be doing any better.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
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2/7/2014 | 7:49:59 PM
Re: Commodity Business
I wonder if hardware companies can survive without the patronage of a strong software platform maker.
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
2/7/2014 | 4:39:54 PM
Re: Commodity Business
I remember when HP was going to sell of their PC business, only to backtrack on that. 

It would not surprise me in the least if they again went down that path. I know that Microsoft is trying to develop OS software in the form of Windows 8 that can rethink the idea of the PC, but it simply is not going to resurrect the concept. 
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
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2/7/2014 | 3:18:26 PM
Commodity Business
Japan is a first world country that needs to pay employees first world wages so the employees can survive. Unless you are an artist or a gamer. PC prices have plummeted to almost nothing.

PC's aren't a business for Japan, any more then they are a business for the US or Europe. PC's are going the way of consumer electronics, they can be built easily in low wage counties like China for now, and if trends continue, soon they will move down the food chain to – where?
Server Market Splitsville
Server Market Splitsville
Just because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.
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