Journey of SONY : A Revolution of Walkman to I-Pod
1981 Walkman II Sony is arguably Japan's best known company and one of the world's largest and most well respected consumer-product manufacturers. Its products are world famous and sold everywhere around the globe. Surveys in early 2000s have showed that Sony was the most recognized and esteemed brand name in the United States (ahead of Coca Cola, General Motors and General Electric) and is third coolest global brand after Nike and Tommy Hilfinger among American teens. Although Sony has some of its luster since then it is still a remarkable company. Sony is the world’s No. 2 consumer electronic maker after Panasonic with around $70 billion in worldwide sales. One of Japan’s first internationally-minded companies, it has relied heavily on exports and was among the first Japanese firms to build a U.S. factory. In the 1960s, 70s and 80s it helped turned "Made in Japan" from a joke into a symbol in unsurpassed quality. Sony has traditionally been known as a great innovator that transformed entire categories of electronics with products like the Walkman music player and PlayStation game console, and was able command premium prices for its top-quality products. Sony not only changed business and the electronic industry it also changed the world. Before it came along electronics were large bulky products that kept people sequestered in their homes. After Sony, they became small products that people they could to take with them to enhance their surroundings wherever they went. Sony topped a Harris poll for best brands for the 7th consecutive year in 2006. Dell and Coca Cola were 2nd and 3rd respectively. In 2004, it was ranked by Forbes as the 72nd largest company in the world. Sony placed 35th in the 2011 Interbrand Best Global Brands ranking. Coca Cola and IBM were No. 1 and 2.
Sony had 160,000 employees and 57 manufacturing sites as of September 2008. It has traditionally been regarded as one of the top transnational companies in terms of foreign assets and foreign employees. The goal of the company has been to apply the most advanced technology to consumer products for fun and enjoyment rather than just practical uses.
Walkman prototype The Walkman miniature cassette player first went on sale in July, 1979. Inspired by pocket cassette recorders designed for dictation, it changed the way we lived by making music and electronics portable, personal and mobile. It changed the lifestyles and listening habits of millions and was particularly embraced by young people, commuters and joggers. In 1986, "Walkman" was added to the Oxford English dictionary. For a while it was used as a generic term for all portable music devices. The Walkman was originally made as a prototype so that Sony co-founder Akio Morita could listen to opera on long-distance flights. The device, which was original marketed in Britain as the Stowaway, almost didn’t happen. “Everybody gave me a hard time,” Morita said in his memoirs. Sony engineers and executive said it was ludicrous to sell a tape-player without a recording function. It took a while for the Walkman to catch on. Sales initially were sluggish. The Walkman has been described as Morita’s product and his greatest contribution to Sony. It was Ibuka who came up with the idea for product but Morita was the one who overcame resistance of senior Sony executives to bring the product to market. The Walkman was the right product for the right time. It was the prefect device for the me generation era and the fitness craze. Its headphone output jack was originally named "guy" and input hole "doll." A famous Walkman ad from the 1980s featured a monkey (a Japanese macaque) listening to a Walkman with a very human-like relaxed, content expression on its face. The Walkman was followed by Watchman mini television (1982) and Discman compact disc player (1984) and hundred of imitations by competitors. As of 2004, 340 million...
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