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THE HISTORY OF SONY

BY ZACH WADE
HOW IT ALL STARTED

• The company was started by Ibuka Masaru and Morita Akio in 1946 as Tokyo
Telecommunications Engineering Corporation. Ibuka, whose Japan Precision
Instruments Company had supplied electronic devices in World War II, and Morita,
an applied sciences instructor, had met during World War II as engineers designing
heat-seeking missiles for the imperial Japanese Army. Ibuka and Morita worked
together for the next 40 years in what has been called “business history’s most
productive and intriguing relationships.”. With Ibuka’s genius with product
development and Mortia’s mastery of business management and marketing turned
Sony into one of the most renowned brand names on the globe.
THE BEGINNING OF THE COMPANY

• The company's first product was a electric rice cooker. Although the product sold
poorly, Totsuko, as the firm’s name was abbreviated, did have a successful business
repairing radios and other electric equipment. Its repair work for the Japanese radio
broadcaster NHK had to be approved by the U.S. army of occupation, which later
gave the young company repair jobs of its own. In 1950 Totsuko introduced the first
Japanese-designed tape recorder. Although this product also sold poorly, the
company's fortunes were about to take a dramatic turn. In 1952 Ibuka visited the
United States and made the initial contacts for licensing the Transistor from Bell
Laboratories, then a division of Western Electric Company, the manufacturing arm of
American Telephone and Telegraph or AT&T
RISE TO FAME

• This watershed agreement led to Totsuko’s first hugely successful product line: transistor radios. Although Texas
Instruments Incorporated was first to market with its Regency transistor radio in 1955, it was Sony's TR-63, an
inexpensive shirt-pocket-sized all-transistor radio, that caught consumer’s attention when it was released in
1957. Sony’s pocket radios were a tremendous success and brought international recognition of the company’s
name. By 1960, business in the United States had prompted the creation of Sony Corporation of America, with
headquarters in New York City. When the company opened its store on Fifth Avenue 1962, it unfurled the first
Japanese flag to be flown in the United States since the beginning World War II. At the 1964 New York's
World Fair, Sony introduced the MD-5, the first all-transistor calculator. In 1968, the company shipped its first
Triniton color television. By 1971, 40% of Japanese households had a color television sets, so Sony introduced
the first color video cassette tape or VCR, which led to its introduction of the Betamax VCR in 1975. The
Betamax, though widely considered the best VCR technology ever developed, was more expensive then its
competitor, the VHS (Video Home System). As more and more studios and video stores turned to VHS,
Betamax lost market share, and Sony finally introduced its own VHS in 1988.
THE EXPANSION OF THE COMPANY

• In 1979, the Sony Walkman portable tape player hits the streets. Although Sony’s engineers
were skeptical about designing a devise that could only play and not record, Mortia insisted
on developing the product, saying he would resign if the Walkman was not a success. The
Walkman was an international sensation and eventually sold hundreds of millions of units. The
first CD (Compact Disc) player emerged in 1982 from a development agreement between
Sony and Dutch manufacturer Philips Electronics NV. Sony provided pulse-coded modifications
technology combined with Phil’s laser system. The failure of Betamax had taught Sony a
lesson; the format standard for CDs ( and later digital videodiscs [DVD]) was agreed upon by
a wide range of companies in Japan, Europe, and North America. The next year Sony
introduced the first camcorder.
STRUGGLES IN THE COMPANY

• By the late 1980s, Sony executives, especially the company president and chairman
of Sony Corporation of America, Norio Ohga, wanted to add entertainment to
content to Sony’s operations. In 1988, it bought CBS Records Groups from CBS Inc.
(now CBS Corporation), thus acquiring the world’s largest record company, and the
next year it purchased Columbia Pictures Entertainment Inc. The Columbia acquisition
, the largest to that time of an America company by a Japanese firm, ignited a
controversy in the United States. The controversy was fanned by Morita’s contribution
to “No to ieru Hihon” (“The Japan That Can Say No”), an essay written with
Japanese nationalist Ishihara Shintaro in 1989. They claimed that Japan no longer
depended on the United States and was a stronger
THE DOWN FALL OF THE COMPANY

The early 1990s were hard for Sony, the Japanese economy started a 10 year long depression, Sony
declaired its first loss, more than 200 million dollars. In 2005, they came up with more disappointing
annual financial reports.
CONCLUSION

• If you have any questions, email me at zachwade09@gmail.com.