Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Sony Corporation SNE recently announced a joint venture (“JV”) with leading papermaking company E Ink Holdings (E Ink). Officially registered in Taiwan, this JV will focus on designing, manufacturing, selling, distributing and licensing products that use electronic paper displays.
Operations are expected to commence post regulatory approvals. The JV will integrate E Ink’s development and manufacturing technology with Sony’s product development and marketing expertise to create a new ePaper market. This will feature innovative electronic paper display products and systems.
First seen all the way back in 2014, the Sony Digital Paper is a 13.3-inch E ink reader that’s targeted at professionals like lawyers, university researchers, and whoever else that finds their work life buried in paper. The vision for Sony since the DPT-S1 was unveiled almost four years ago has been to replace paper with a more elegant (and for you and I, Sci-Fi) solution.
The DPT-RP1 is now a culmination of that idea, taking what was a fully working product a few years ago and improving upon it. So what’s changed with the Sony Digital Paper compared to its predecessor? A lot, it seems.
You know what’s popular these days? Patent lawsuits. Not to be left out of the fun, Sony is filing their own complaints against Arris, the maker of the widely used cable modems.
The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Wednesday it has launched a patent infringement investigation of television set-top boxes and other components that Arris International supplies to Comcast Corp and DirecTV for their Xfinity and Genie customers.
As 4K production picks up for professionals from something that’s done on specific jobs to every piece of content being shot in the resolution, so does the wear and tear that goes on the equipment, namely capture cards. While there already exists 4K SSD cards like the Kingston HyperX Savage, they’re not necessarily designed for the long haul like the G-series from Sony which they claim will last 10 years under heavy use.
Generally, plunking down a pile of cash for something should be a good experience, right? After all, I’m buying a premium device and I’d hope, if nothing else, to find an easy method to give someone money in exchange for the product I want. Apparently, I asked for too much. Now I’m sure there is some complicated reason that boils down to dollars and cents but when, in 2015, Sony decided to shutter their dozen or so retail stores they operated in the US alongside their entire online store, they also opted to end any direct relationship they had with consumers.
For a company that enjoys a very small mindshare among consumers outside of PlayStation, and has little to no marketing efforts, surely my experience of trying to give them $6,500 for a TV can be traced back to that decision. The keyword here is trying.
In recent years, Sony has been attending SXSW where hipsters and tech lovers flock to the once-a-year event where the latest in new age art, science, and technology are on display. It’s here that Sony’s been hard at work promoting and testing Project N, their wireless headset. Having already shown off Project N two years in a row, what was Sony to do? Create a Mixed Reality Cave, of course.
Nathan Ingraham writes this for Engadget:
Imagine a world where you’re walking with your Xperia XZs Mark II Premium Plus and you’re low on charge. What’s one to do? Plug in via USB-C? Too 2016. Place said phone on a wireless charger? Not a chance. Instead in this ultra-futuristic world, Sony would have your phone borrow charge from other devices. According to a patent filed in 2016:
You know what Sony’s amazing at? Designing products and winning awards for them. You know what Sony is terrible at? Telling the world and not regular readers of sites like SRN that they make these fantastic products.
Today Sony is proud to announce that 18 products have been honoured with iF Design Awards, including three prestigious gold awards. The products that have won gold awards are the PS-HX500 turntable, Future Lab Program™ T Interactive Projector and PlayStation®VR (PS VR) virtual reality system for PlayStation®4, from Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE).
Here are the products that won:
Nothing excites me more than when analysts write about how a company should run its business with magical fixes like “improve that” or “innovate there” like these buttons exist within a company and they never realized they should click them. Today we have a slightly different variation of analyst pie-in-the-sky talk with some what I would call outlandish forecasts by Damian Thong. According to him, Sony in 2017 is going to be able to double its profits and it’s quite simple how.
Today is a twofer for Samsung news. As someone who obsessively covers and utilizes Sony and Apple hardware, you’d likely guess that I’m one of the world’s biggest fans of Samsung. So huge in fact that this news brings nothing but a smile to my face. Sure that’s a bit childish of me but as a company who clearly lacks any kind of taste or moral compass, the following news comes off the least surprising.
When you can’t beat them, join them. Fun fact, despite the whole Galaxy S7 debacle which had Samsung recall the entire lineup, the South Korean giant still reported giant profits for Q4 2016. The reason? Their components division which has the likes of Apple and others buying chipsets, RAM, and flash memory by the truckload.
For Samsung, it’s a win-win. Compete with Apple in the phone space but also sell them to as well. Profits roll in either way. Now Sony is finding itself in a similar situation.
(note that you can click on all charts for a much higher resolution version)
It’s been a rather tumultuous week for Sony with news coming out that Sony Pictures would be responsible for a nearly $1 billion writedown which you can see in the above profits chart. Though Sony begs to differ, I think Sony Pictures is either quietly being put up for sale or that was the result of a sale falling through which meant Sony had to balance the division out but I’ll leave that for another piece. I’ve already broken down the earnings report for two divisions:
- Sony Mobile ships 5.1 million Xperia phones in Q3 FY16, down 2.5 million from a year ago
- Sony ships 9.7 million PS4 units during Q3, chugs towards PS3 lifetime sales
So where does that put Sony as a whole for Q3 FY16? Profitable, but not by a lot. Jon Russell writes this for TechCrunch:
One of the topics I despise the most after any show, be it CES or E3, is who “won” – as if there is some award given to the company that shouts the loudest or has the shiniest new thing. Well, I digress, I guess there is – show after show, news publications, blogs, and online personalities crown differing products as “best of show,” “best in class,” “most innovative” and so on and companies hoard them as much as possible to shout out how good their new box is. But to believe in that is to believe in the hype bubble that is CES and luckily Sony smartly didn’t play into that hand – let me explain.
I somehow missed this news last week but Guerrilla Cambridge, the highly talented crew behind RIGS for PlayStation VR, is closing up shop. Robert Purchese writes for EuroGamer:
Sony is closing Guerrilla Cambridge, the developer of PlayStation VR game Rigs Mechanized Combat League. The studio was formerly SCEE Cambridge, and was in operation for 19 years.
Guerrilla Games’ main studio in Amsterdam, where PlayStation 4-exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn is being made, will not be affected.
According to Sony: