It’s no secret that Sony has been struggling for nearly a decade. Thanks to mismanagement and miscalculations, Sony was unable to capitalize on the transition to LCD televisions and was equally late to mobile. In their most recent earnings guidance, Sony predicts that come March, the company’s mobile division will mount a $1.7 billion loss for the year. With television sales having reached a saturation point and 4K television sales though healthy, not enough to make up for an otherwise sluggish division, Sony knows that it can’t rely on mobile which was to be one of the three pillars that would help turn around the company. When even Samsung has seen their mobile division fall apart with sales declining by nearly 60% laster quarter, what can Sony do to compete and even thrive?
One word it seems. PlayStation.
When Sony Pictures employees arrived at their Culver City campus early yesterday morning, they were greeted to a less-than-ideal situation. A group going under the name of #GOP had successfully hacked the entire studio, bringing work to a screeching halt. As a result of the hack, all computers at Sony Pictures displayed an image of a blood red skeleton with links to where Sony could find proof of the hack’s extent. That’s because, besides all computers being down and unable to even reach out to the web, the group claims that they were all able to find damning information that Sony Pictures does not want people to see.
Despite claiming that unless Sony met their demands by 6:00PM EST that they would release the given information, there appears to be no leaked documents yet. However, computers at Sony Pictures remain to be down in what appears to be a partial inside job with a goal towards ‘equality’ for employees.
Plot twist, right? Details after the jump.
Earlier today, news began to circulate that Sony’s Backup and Restore app on Google Play for the company’s line of Xperia devices was hacked. Appearing on Google Play and available to download for free, the app in question mimicked everything about Sony’s official app from wording to design with one obvious difference, the top part of the app was replaced with HeArT HaCkEr Group. Many took this as a sign that Sony’s internal servers had been compromised and an update had been pushed from within the company with the above changes. As Backup and Restore is an official system app from Sony, there is no way to delete the program and those who’ve given it permission will have potentially already had their information compromised.
That is, if Sony’s servers were hacked – but that’s not what happened at all.
In a somewhat surprising manner, Sony has rolled out a second ad this week in the US. Dubbed Roof, the clever and extremely simply ad shows off the Remote Play feature between the PS4 and Xperia Z3. Sony ran a similar ad in Europe earlier in the month which highlighted the same features between Xperia devices and PS4. Besides highlighting the PS4, Sony is hoping to garner attention for its flagship Xperia Z3 smartphone which for the first time in the US has carrier support from T-Mobile and Verizon.
In the past, Sony’s smartphone strategy had lacked carrier support in the US, leading to marginal sales and a nearly zero percent marketshare. After the jump, the Sony Roof ad awaits you.
With PS4 Remote Play now available on Sony’s Xperia Z3 line which includes their flagship Xperia Z3 smartphone, the Xperia Z3 Compact, and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, the company is looking to promote the feature via a new clever ad. For those not familiar, PS4 Remote Play on Xperia Z3 devices allows you to stream PS4 titles directly to your mobile device with no loss in functionality. This means you can get the full PS4 experience from earning trophies to online multiplayer right on your mobile screen. To show off the new functionality, Sony has a clever new ad which can be seen after the jump.
Designed for smartphones (and likely tablets), Sony has announced a new advanced image sensor which offers improved image quality and faster speeds thanks to a new ”stacked” design which cuts down on size. Dubbed the Exmor RS IMX230, it’s the industry’s first CMOS image sensor for smartphones to be equipped with an onboard image plane phase detection AF signal processing function. In short, this new image sensor is capable of 192 autofocus points, resulting in much faster tracking of moving subjects that happens almost instantaneously.
One of the exciting features of the Sony Xperia Z3 line which includes the Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact, and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is its ability to connect to PlayStation 4. Via the PS4 Remote Play app, users with the Sony’s Xperia Z3 line can stream games from the leading console directly to their mobile device and use a Dualshock 4 controller to play the game as if they were on the PS4. Once linked, gamers will have full control of the game with no dumbed-down experience. That means you can enjoy everything from multiplayer to earning trophies directly on your Xperia Z3 device.
More after the jump.
In a new developer story video, Sony is showing off their 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector. Revealed at CES 2014, where we were able to get some hands on time with one, the Sony 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector is capable of casting a 147-inch screen from just 27 inches away. Despite that and how the unit may appear in pictures, the 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector is actually smaller than it appears. In the video, Sony developers and designers talk about the challenges of creating something visually appealing while needing to tackle the constraints of traditional projectors, like shadow.
The video can be found after the jump.
During this Sunday’s NFL games (in my case, Broncos vs. Raiders), Sony aired an all new commercial dubbed ‘Script to Screen.’ In the new ad, Sony lays out its case on why you should purchase a Sony product.
Chalk this purely under the WTF category, but the above header is about as real as it gets. In Dubai, the country with no shortage of money which currently houses some of the world’s most beautiful buildings, is getting something exotic that goes in line with the lifestyle that the wealthy get to enjoy there. Set to debut on December 3rd, 2014, Sony is opening an underwater ‘Xperia Aquatech’ store according to Rüediger Odenbac, Vice President of Sony Mobile Middle East and Africa. The new underwater Sony store will allow select Sony customers. VIPs, and media to view and play with waterproof Sony smartphones and tablets like the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.
According to Odenbac, they
promised 2014 would be a year marked by a Bigger, Better, and Bolder Sony approach to both our products and the way we present them
and they believe this is one such way. That is, if it wasn’t the most absurd idea ever. Let me explain.
Sony made a loss of $785 in the past quarter, despite a 7.2% jump in revenue on the same period in 2013. The Mobile division reported a loss of $1.58 billion. From those figures, it’s clear that other divisions paid for Mobile’s loss. One division in particular has come out most profitable, and it wasn’t the PS4-making Game business.
All of Sony’s key businesses performed well, turning a profit in the last quarter, Pictures being an exception, but Mobile was the real black hole where profit should have been. As the rhetoric goes, the PS4′s sales saved Sony in the last quarter.
Other mobile giants have been suffering too, notably Samsung’s quarterly profit dipped 49% in the last quarter. That’s one point the media beating on Sony which isn’t being reported as loudly. Clearly, whatever is going on in Sony’s Mobile division, isn’t exclusive to Sony. Sony’s mobile sales took a plunge – but the culprit wasn’t just the Chinese market, there was a bigger surprise.
How well are the other businesses doing and what’s going on in Sony’s Mobile house?
Alongside the PlayStation 4 System Software Update 2.0 that brought on an extensive amount of changes and new features to PS4, Sony has also released PlayStation App 2.0.7. The latest update brings improved robustness to the app, with more fluid UI, features, and native support for iPad. After the jump, the full changelog of PlayStation App 2.0.7 and gallery awaits you.
In addition to launching the free ‘Xperia Transfer Mobile’ app on the Windows Phone Store, Sony has also republished a video tutorial to help you navigate the transfer. Designed to lure Windows Phone users to Android and specifically Sony Xperia smartphones, the Xperia Transfer Mobile app can help transfer contacts, message, calendar, and media with just a few clicks.
Though the video specifically mentions iOS and Android users only, the same steps are in place for those looking to transfer from Windows Phone to Android as this video itself was created some time ago. After the jump, the video tutorial from Sony awaits you.
Do you know what day it is? Hump day? Nope. It’s Thursday which means…it’s throw back Thursday where we get to post things that are old. In truth, I’ve been itching to post the video of Sony CEO, Kaz Hirai taking the ice bucket challenge. The problem was that he took it much later where the hype around the wonderful cause (which I partook in) had begun to die down. Now that some time has passed, I find it appropriate to use the video in a #TBT post. After the jump, Kaz Hirai takes a bucket of ice to the head from a Sony employee.
Sure Sony’s mobile division is raking up massive losses for the company but that’s not stopping them from trying new ways to lure customers. After already targeting iOS users with a similar tool, Sony is now turning its attention to Windows Mobile users. Dubbed the Xperia Transfer Mobile app, this latest free download helps those who are looking to depart from the world of Windows to Android land by making the transition smoother.
In its upcoming earnings report, many analysts expect Samsung to report a significant dip in its quarterly profits. For Q3 2014, the electronic giant will likely report a profit of 4.1 trillion won ($3.8 billion) from the $10.6 trillion won operating profit that the company booked in Q3 2013. That means in just one quarter, Samsung profits will have dipped nearly 60%! With continued pressure from Apple in the high-end market and increasing competition from Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi and Lenovo, Samsung is beginning to find itself unable to compete. It’s also worth noting that during Q3 2014, Apple held a 0% market share for smartphones with a screen size larger than 4-inches. Since that time, Apple has introduced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ which command 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays, taking the only advantage Samsung may have had in the high-end market.
Translation? Next quarter will likely be even worse for Samsung. If this all sounds too familiar, we need not look further than Sony to see a company who is plagued by the same issues. Sony just recently revised their FY 2014 estimate and announced a larger than expected $2.1 billion loss. Samsung’s pain, however, might be Sony’s gain if Sony can learn some key lessons from this massive blow to Samsung.