SONY, Profits down 98%

  barrie_g 16:05 26 Jul 03
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At one time Sony used to be known for its high quality gear, nowadays it seems to still have the high quality prices but its products seem to have become quite middle of the road, indeed its quite easy to get goods which have just as much style with better performance for much less cash than the Sony counter part, i.e. TV's, Hi-Fi, Monitors, Mini-disk, with the exception of the PS2 of course.

So bearing all this in mind can they really be that surprised at a fall in profits? Though yes I'll agree that a 98% fall in one year is one hell of a drop.

  Beb? 16:28 26 Jul 03

actually, th PS2 isnt an exception. It is about £50 more than other consoles, has a rubbish 4mb gpu (as opposed to xbox 64mb), PS2s are also unreliable. I have known of at least 7 cases of them failing beyond the point of repair. So, its not really tat much of a surprise that Sony aren't doing that well. Also, they havent released any new designed products recently.

  Forum Editor 16:44 26 Jul 03

- and Sony is certainly one of those - is that they are like those vast supertankers that have a three or four mile braking distance. The company can't react as rapidly to market fluctuations as does a smaller organisation. Development time-scales are sometimes horrendous, and trying to forecast the state of the consumer electronics market a couple of years in advance must be like predicting the weather for the 10th of June next year - you think you know roughly what it will be like, but anything could happen to upset the apple-cart.

In the past Sony has blamed various factors for its poor performance, including the strength of the Yen, but when all is said and done it's all about having the right product range in place at the right price and at the right time. The Sony name has long been synonymous with quality manufacturing standards , but we're a fickle lot, we consumers, and many of us would prefer to sacrifice a bit of build quality if we can get the same thing for 20% less from another maker.

I'm sure that Sony will pull through, but it may be a long, hard slog for them. They need that killer product, and at the moment I don't see one on the Sony list.

  Stuartli 21:02 26 Jul 03

Sony's stuff is still mainly that which dreams are made of - the main problem is that the price of luxury items such as computers, film and digital cameras, hi-fi, TV, audio etc have dropped dramatically over the past five to seven years or so.

My mate owns a modest independent domestic/audio/visual retail outlet; today, even with the backing of the Euronics Group, which supplies more than 700 similar stores throughout the UK, he still has to sell two - or even three - of the same item to make the same gross profit margin as in the mid-1990s.

Now the customer may feel he/she has saved a few bob but, in the long run, loses out.

For instance my mate now has to charge for delivery and/or installation for most items up to around £400-500; the once busy workshop is being gradually phased down to just essential customers' work because of the fixed (and expensive) running costs and one employee sadly had to go last year.

Remember - you get owt for nowt as they say in Yorkshire.

Retail outlets have to make a reasonable level of profit to provide first class after sales and service.

You can all recount unhappy experiences with the main high street giants and they don't even bother running workshops etc - it's all farmed out to third parties.

  D-P-R 19:41 27 Jul 03

Some of the reasons that probibly didn't help them
click here
click here
also key2audio

  D-P-R 19:45 27 Jul 03

I quite like the bit about "As a member of the RIAA, Sony railed against companies like Sony that manufacture CD burners." They cant evenmake themselves happy let alone the consumer

  Stuartli 23:28 27 Jul 03

It's an example of sheer hypocrisy that I've often referred to in these forums...:-)

  BigMoFoT 00:14 28 Jul 03

About April ish this year my Sony Dual Format DVD Writer arrived after about 6 weeks of waiting. 4 weeks later i had to return it at my expese?!?!?

  Aspman 13:54 28 Jul 03

I used to prefer to pay extra for brands such as Sony, JVC etc expecting better quality from them.

I can't honestly say I seen a drop in quality from those big brands but I have seen a huge improvement in the quality of the the 'budget' brands.

Names I would have turned my nose up at a few years ago produce excellent high quality products now. I'm thinking of brands such as LG and Samsung. I don't see the point of paying out for extra a label now when you get such good value from other makers.

  Aspman 13:55 28 Jul 03

Saying that I bought a Sony CD/MP3 player for the car last month.

  Stuartli 14:25 28 Jul 03

Many computer products, components, peripherals etc are rebadged products from specialist manufacturers; no one firm can actually produce everything it sells.

For instance, even Sony rebadges leading manufacturers' CD-R, CD-RW etc media products to maintain a presence in that particular field.

A large proportion of computer components, digital cameras, keyboards etc are produced and rebadged from manufacturers based in China, Taiwan and other Far Eastern areas.

Ironically, some of the rebadged products are cheaper than the orignal manufacturers' offerings, yet have the same specifications.

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