Sony, which is struggling to deliver profits across several of its product categories, is set to partner with Harman International to jointly develop and sell sound systems as well as portable docking stations.
The move could see Sony abandon its investment in sound systems in favour of working jointly with Harman in the development of sound systems that work with Sony products.
Overnight the two companies announced a joint deal that will see Harman develop new products that will work with Sony products. It was also announced that Sony will sell and distribute some Harman products in both the US and International markets.
Harman said that Sony will start selling such products as the JBL Balboa, CS and ES home sound system speakers and JBL Duet II and JBL Duet III portable speakers.
In Australia, the Harman range is distributed by Convoy. However, Managing Director Geoff Matthews claims that he is unaware of any deal between Sony and Harman. “We know of no deal nor have we been advised by Harman that a deal was pending,” said Matthews.
The new Harmon products are expected to appear in Sony Style stores shortly. Analysts are claiming that the move makes sense as it shifts the capital cost of Sony having to develop new sound systems for its devices to Harman.
Late last year Sony launched a JBL Sony Walkman docking station in Japan, with that product set to be launched globally this year.
“By collaborating on both technologies and retail distribution channels, Harman and Sony have upped the ante in bringing consumers the most advanced sound systems available for home and personal use,” Dinesh C. Paliwal, chairman, president and CEO of Harman International, said.
He added, “Both companies have a long history of developing products whose innovation is unsurpassed, and we look forward to expanding this exciting partnership with Sony in the months and years to come.”