Sony Loses A Fortune On Electronics

By Mike Devlin on Thursday, November 21, 2013
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“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.” —Carl Sagan

In A Nutshell

Despite being known for a retinue of electronics products like the Walkman and the PlayStation, Japanese megacorporation Sony makes most of its money selling life insurance. In fact, the company loses billions on most of their gadgets.

The Whole Bushel

Asked to name an electronics company off the top of their head, a good percentage of people will name Sony. In 2013, the enormous Japanese corporation ranked 94 on the Fortune Global 500. They make all manner of gadgets, from televisions and computers to digital cameras. However, Sony’s electronics business has been an unmitigated disaster, losing $8.5 billion in the last decade. Perhaps the biggest part of Sony’s problem is its products rank as somewhat mediocre compared to those of competitors like Samsung. Sony has also failed to corner the lucrative smart phone market, dominated by giants like Apple and Motorola.

The company hopes that the new PlayStation 4 will breathe new life into its electronics division, but with immense research and development costs, the device may already be behind the eight ball. Its predecessor, the PlayStation 3, has never been profitable, despite redesigns to reduce manufacturing costs.

Financial consultants from investment banking firm Jefferies have indicated that Sony’s best move would be to dump its electronics business altogether in favor of more profitable divisions, including Sony Pictures Entertainment (responsible for producing smash hits like the Men In Black and Spider-Man franchises) and Sony Music (which encompasses labels like Columbia and RCA Records).

Surprisingly enough, the company’s biggest monkeymaker is its financial division, including Sony Bank and Assurance. Established in 1979, Sony Life Insurance Co. serves only Japan and the Philippines. In the last decade, life insurance has earned Sony $9.07 billion in operating profit.

Show Me The Proof

NY Times: Sony’s Bread and Butter? It’s Not Electronics
Unlike the PS3, Sony isn’t expecting to lose money on the PlayStation 4

  • Hadeskabir

    Wow, I’m surprised that a well known tech company like Sony, loses so much money. I thought they had a huge profit with playstation!

    • WhiteExodus

      http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=-QSSItPZhdk Here’s a short video showing some key and surprising facts for Sony and its PlayStation, enjoy 🙂 also subscribe bro, this channel needs more views and likes!

      • Hadeskabir

        Your video made me realize my youtube is broken!lol I don’t know what’s wrong but videos don’t start and when they rarely do they don’t have sound. For a sec I thought I was deaf.

        • WhiteExodus

          How about you try searching for the bid on YouTube itself?

          • Hadeskabir

            I’m so stupid some times. Youtube had no sound because I had Wave on mute. Restarting my computer solved the freezing problem. I watched the video and subscribed to the channel. It was a very interesting video. Thanks for sharing!

  • bob ab

    Good article. Plain and simple.

  • Jimmy Savilles finger

    Motorola lead the market? Since when?

    • Akatosh

      since the republicans

    • Vespertine

      I think this article it’s from 2004 huehuehuehue. Motorola was defunct by 2011.

  • UN

    Motorola???? i think you meant to say Samsung or HTC.

    • Ray

      He wrote the article from his delorean.

  • Ray

    Microsoft is more likely to get rid of their sorry excuse for a console than Sony.

    • Al Sharpton

      hey you want to watch tv on your tv through your xbox? hahahha awesome. but pay us $300 a year to use this feature insert troll face

    • Bailey Lawrence

      Please, both consoles are nearly identical.

      • Ray

        Actually the ps4 has better hardware plus it doesn’t require a webcam to work. A lot of Xbox games are only 720p while ps4 is 1080p.

  • Scott

    Sony has always made low-quality crap. I’ve never owned a sony device that was worth spit.

    • Sterling Cole

      Only because you can’t afford them , they still make some of the best TVs and game consoles around.

      • Scott

        Incorrect. Despite what some people think, the Playstation has always been inferior to the competition in every single way. Particularly the PS2. I don’t think I’ve ever played a worse video game system.

        • Ray

          You’re incorrect.

  • Montsta

    This is bullshit! A leading brand losing that much money?? Smartphones such as Xperia z and z1 are immense breakthroughs!!

  • Sterling Cole

    There products are mediocre? I would take a Sony TV over a Samsung any day.

  • JRHatt

    Wow, I knew the electronic side wasn’t doing well, but I didn’t know it was that bad.
    I’ve never liked Sony products. They never lasted long.

  • Oswald Bates

    Sonys net worth is 14 billion,Microsoft 230 billion.