The Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony joins the battle of smart speakers by launching a product based on Google’s virtual assistant. It is positioned in frontal competition with the Apple HomePod. The market for smart speakers acting as a personal assistant has a newcomer weight: Sony. Japan’s consumer electronics giant takes advantage of IFA, Berlin’s high-tech high school mass, to launch its first product: a 360-degree speaker with voice-over-speech support Google virtual assistant available today in seven languages, including French. It will be marketed in France in November 2017.
Sony Cultivates Its Difference
The market has been cleared by Amazon with its Echo speaker launched in 2014 on the basis of his virtual assistant Alexa who still speaks only English. Since then, he has been joined by other Internet giants including Google with his Home and Apple with his HomePod.
To make a name for itself, Sony is banking on its historical expertise in audio to deliver quality omnidirectional sound. An asset he hopes to make a difference in the market. Its speaker does not just offer voice control through the virtual assistant of Google. She also obeys gestures to change the music or adjust the volume of the sound. With a price of 230 euros in Europe, it is positioned in front of the competition with Apple’s HomePod, whose commercialization should begin in December 2017 in the United States to 349 dollars.
A Brand Synonymous With Quality To The General Public
Since the advent of digital in electronics in the early 2000s, Sony has lost its leadership in consumer electronics to the benefit of new players more agile as Korean Samsung and LG, or more innovative as Apple. If he appears today as a follower, his name remains in the general public always synonymous with quality. That’s why he’s doing much better than other Japanese brands like JVC, Sharp or Toshiba.
Still nascent, the virtual assistant speaker market looks promising. According to Gartner, it should grow from $ 720 million in 2016 to more than $ 3.5 billion in 2021. A coveted jackpot as evidenced by the addition of Sonos, the undisputed leader of connected speakers, and Panasonic, the Sony’s great Japanese rival. Today, it is dominated by Amazon which has sold 5 million units of its Echo in 2016, according to Strategy Analytics.
Sony Completes The Sale Of Its Batteries To Murata
The Japanese electronics giant Sony confirms its exit from batteries by transferring its activity in this area to his fellow Murata. An operation that turns a page in the sector
A page turns in the history of batteries. Sony, one of the pioneers of the sector, leaves the market. The Japanese electronics giant, which was the first in the world to launch the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries in 1991, ceded its business to fellow countryman Murata. The transaction, which reaches 17.5 billion yen (the equivalent of $ 160 million), is finalized this September 1, 2017.
Costly Recalls Of Faulty Batteries
Sony marked the development of lithium-ion batteries for portable electronic equipment: laptops, mobiles, digital cameras, camcorders, portable music players, portable power tools, etc. But he has suffered many disappointments with expensive recalls of defective batteries made in his factory in China. Its leading position has been significantly eroded by the rise of a major rival in Japan, Panasonic who bought Sanyo, and competitors from Korea (LG Chem and Samsung SDI) and Chinese.
The Collapse Of Its Captive Market
Since the arrival of Kazuo Hirai at its head in 2012, the Tokyo group has not ceased to sort out its components, keeping only those deemed strategic as image sensors Cmos, which remains the largest world leader with, according to Digitimes Research, 45% of the market, far ahead of its largest competitor, Samsung Electronics (15%). This is how it came out of LCD screens, microprocessors or optical discs. Since its peak in 2007, its sales in electronics has halved, reducing its captive market for its component business. In three years, its smartphone shipments have collapsed from about 40 million units to 15 million. A collapse that hits hard his activity in the batteries.