Sony who is struggling to get traction in the Australia TV market, and is set to face brutal competition from Samsung and LG has come out and said that they want to get 60% share of the smart TV market worldwide, this is the same Company that is set to announce another $2.9 Billion dollar loss.
With Samsung launching their new Smart TV range on the 17th of April followed by LG on the 18th Sony Australia is struggling to hold onto the TV market share they have already have with analysts tipping it will be hard for them to compete considering what is coming from the two Korean manufacturers.
Locally Sony has moved into the discount TV market in an effort to boost sales; this has been possible because the Company is using third party manufacturers to build TV’s for the Australian market say observers.
At the recent CES Show Sony failed to show any new Smart TV’s that will go on sale in Australia this year.
In comparison both Samsung and LG revealed a new generation of TV’s that will come with the option of LED, Plasma or OLED as the preferred display.
The new TV’s from the Korean manufacturers will also have new dual and quad core processors that let users access content directly from the web like a PC.
Both Companies are set to launch new content offerings including from Samsung a brand new Foxtel service.
At the weekend Sony said that they aim to take a 60% share of the Smart TV segment worldwide in 2012 according to DigiTimes, the also said that they aim to increase their range backlit-TV models to 70% in 2012 from the previous 40%.
Missing from the Company statements was any mention of OLED a display technology that Sony was bragging about three years ago before discovering that they did not have the capacity to manufacture cost effectively. Both Samsung and LG claim that they have conquered the manufacturing problems associated with OLED with both Companies revealing new 55″ and 60″ models that will go on sale in Australia this year.
Sony also said that in 2012 its focus will not be only on unit sales, but also on enhancing high-end LCD TVs’ overall wi8th improved high-definition picture quality and Internet connectivity.
In 2012 Sony’s Internet TV will be incorporated into Sony’s own platform, Sony Entertainment Network (SEN), which offers apps, audio-video content and localised TV channels, according to the Japanese Company.
New Company CEO at Sony, Kazuo Hirai, claims that he is determined to turn around the group’s ailing TV business which has lost billions as the Company struggled to compete up against a surging LG and Samsung.
Hirai, who formally takes over as chief executive from Howard Stringer this week, inherits a company that has been outgunned in recent years by rivals because of poor management decisions, Sony arrogance and an attitude that their brand was immortal.
Also hurting the Company has been brands like Microsoft, Google and Apple.
Later this month Sony is tipped to announce another $2.7 billion net loss for the year to March 2012.
This represents a fourth straight year of losses, and due in large part to a TV business that has not been able to keep up with rivals who have out marketed Sony.
Sony said Hirai would head a new home entertainment division, which includes TVs and replaces the consumer products and services group that he had led.
“The TV business is Sony’s main business and (its recovery) is an absolute condition that must be met for the firm to recover its performance,” said Keita Wakabayashi, an analyst at Mito Securities. “That’s why it will be placed directly under (Hirai’s) control, and means he has to take care of the most important issue.”
Sony hopes Hirai, credited with reviving the PlayStation game business through aggressive cost-cutting, can work similar magic with a TV business that has lost more than $11 billion over eight financial years.
“The market is big… but industrial electronics makers like Hitachi and Toshiba are already in this area so it’s not like Sony is advancing into a free territory,” said Mito’s Wakabayashi. “Compared to this, it’s much more important to improve the TV business.”
During the next month TV makers Sony, Panasonic and Sharp are expected to announce losses of $17 billion this year alone.
Long Sony’s biggest product category by sales, TVs was overtaken by other segments in October-December. TVs accounted for 13% of overall sales in the quarter, down from 19% a year earlier and trailing games (16%) and combined sales from Sony Pictures and Sony Music (15%), according to the company’s latest financial statement.
In 2000, Sony’s market value was seven times that of Apple. Today, Apple’s $555 billion market value dwarfs Sony’s $20 billion, which is also just a ninth of Samsung’s $180 billion.
Hirai’s promotion has boosted Sony’s stock price, however, jumping around 27% since he was unveiled as the next CEO, on 1 February, outpacing a 16% rise on the benchmark Nikkei over the same period.