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Date:1946 - present...(Show more)Areas the Involvement:electronicselectronic gamecompact discPlayStationvideocassette recorder...(Show more)Related People:Morita AkioIdei NobuyukiHoward StringerIbuka MasaruLeo Esaki...(Show more)

Sony, in complete Sony Corporation, significant Japanese manufacturer of consumer electronics products. It also was associated in films, music, and financial services, amongst other ventures.

Rice cookers come transistor radios

The firm was integrated by Ibuka Masaru and Morita Akio in 1946 together Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (“Tokyo Telecommunications design Corporation”). Ibuka, who Japan Precision Instruments company had gave electronic devices during human being War II, and also Morita, an used sciences instructor, had actually met during world War II as engineers designing heat-seeking missiles for the imperial Japanese Army. Ibuka and Morita worked together for the next 40 year in what has actually been called one that “business history’s most productive and intriguing relationships.” Ibuka’s genius with product advancement and Morita’s mastery of company management and marketing turn Sony into one the the many renowned brand names on the globe. Sony, which came to be the official name for the agency in January 1958, was obtained from the Latin sonus (“sound”) and was conceived to it is in an international and also not a Japanese term.

The company’s first consumer product was an electric rice cooker. Although this product offered poorly, Totsuko, together the firm’s surname was abbreviated, did have a successful organization repairing radios and also other electrical equipment. That repair job-related for the Japanese radio broadcaster NHK had to be approved by the U.S. Military of occupation, which later offered the young company repair work of the own.

In 1950 Totsuko presented the an initial Japanese-designed ice cream recorder. Back this customer item also sold poorly, the company’s fortunes were around to take it a dramatic turn. In 1952 Ibuka went to the unified States and made the initial contacts for license the transistor from Bell Laboratories, climate a division of Western electric Company, the manufacturing arm of American telephone & Telegraph (AT&T). The following year Morita went to the joined States and signed the resolve Western Electric.


This watershed commitment led come Totsuko’s very first hugely successful product line: transistor radios. Return Texas Instruments included was first to sector with that Regency transistor radio in 1955, it to be Sony’s TR-63, an cheap shirt-pocket-sized all-transistor radio, that captured consumers’ attention as soon as it to be released in 1957. Sony’s bag radios were a incredible success and also brought global recognition the the company’s brand name.

Electronics giant

By 1960 company in the joined States had actually prompted the development of Sony corporation of America, v headquarters in brand-new York City. As soon as the agency opened its save on 5th Avenue in 1962, it unfurled the very first Japanese flag to it is in flown in the joined States since the beginning of people War II.

At the 1964 new York world’s Fair, Sony presented the MD-5, the very first all-transistor desktop calculator. In 1968 the company shipped its first Trinitron colour television. By 1971, 40 percent that Japanese households had colour television sets, therefore Sony presented the first colour video cassette recorder (VCR), which caused its introduction of the Betamax VCR in 1975. The Betamax, though widely taken into consideration the ideal VCR modern technology ever developed, was more expensive than its competitor, the VHS (Video house System). As more and more studios and video stores turned to VHS, Betamax lost sector share, and also Sony ultimately introduced its own VHS in 1988.

In 1979 the Sony Walkman portable ice cream player struggle the streets. Back Sony’s engineers were skeptical about designing a maker that can only play and not record, Morita insisted on emerging the product, saying he would resign if the Walkman was not a success. The Walkman was an global sensation and eventually sold numerous millions of units. The an initial compact bowl (CD) player arised in 1982 native a advancement agreement between Sony and also Dutch manufacturer Philips electronic devices NV. Sony provided pulse-code modulation technology and combined it v Philips’s laser system. The fail of Betamax had taught Sony a lesson; the format standard because that CDs (and later digital videodiscs ) was agreed ~ above by a wide range of service providers in Japan, Europe, and also North America. The following year Sony introduced the first camcorder.

Diversification and downturn

By the so late 1980s, Sony executives, particularly the firm president and also the chairman of Sony copy, group of America, Norio Ohga, want to add entertainment contents to Sony’s operations. In 1988 it bought CBS Records group from CBS Inc. (now CBS Corporation), thus gaining the world’s biggest record company, and also the next year it purchased Columbia images Entertainment, Inc. The Columbia acquisition, the largest to that time of an American company by a Japanese firm, ignited a debate in the joined States. The dispute was fans by Morita’s contribution to “No to ieru Hihon” (“The Japan That can Say No”), an essay written through Japanese conference Ishihara Shintarō in 1989. They asserted that Japan no longer relied on the united States and also was a stronger, far better nation than its postwar ally.

The beforehand 1990s were difficult years because that Sony. The Japanese economy entered a decadelong recession, and both Ibuka and also Morita suffered strokes (in 1992 and also 1993, respectively). Morita officially retired in 1994 and died in 1999. V its founders no longer at the controls, Sony asserted its first loss, an ext than $200 million, in 1993. Despite the service turmoil, Sony ongoing to design and deliver brand-new products. In 1994 that is entertainment department introduced the PlayStation video game console to the Japanese market. Through 2002 the video game unit to be contributing much more than 10 percent that the that company yearly revenues. Another major profit centre to be Sony virtual Entertainment, an especially its web virtual reality game EverQuest. The that company entertainment group also captured the imagination of many world with the robot dog, AIBO, introduced in 1999. In 1997 Sony presented the VAIO line of an individual computers. The VAIO to be a high-quality and also expensive device that the firm marketed to individuals interested in arising or play multimedia programs.

In 2005, adhering to further disappointing yearly financial reports, Howard Stringer was elevated from chairman and chief executive, management officer of Sony copy, group of America come chairman and also chief executive officer the Sony Corporation. Back the meeting of a non-Japanese come head the parent agency surprised many, part two-thirds the Sony’s employees worldwide were non-Japanese. In 2009 Stringer additionally became chairman of Sony’s electronics division.

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In an initiative to recovery Sony, Stringer focused on streamlining operations and also lowering costs. The firm continued to struggle, however, posting document losses together Sony’s vital consumer electronics sector declined. In 2012 Stinger stepped down from his assorted posts and also was succeeded by Hirai Kazuo, an executive in the company’s video clip game division. Under his leadership, Sony focused on consumer electronics if undertaking many cost-cutting measures, including selling various real-estate holdings. Notably, in 2013 Sony offered its U.S. Headquarters in new York City for much more than $1 billion.