Towards the end of the 20th century, Sony was one of the biggest premium brand-names you could find, with its fingers in the electronics and media cookie jars and the money rolling in from these two major industries.
Today, the story isn't quite the same. With firms such as Apple taking the brand spotlight and companies like Samsung providing competitive cost-to-performance production of electronics goods, Sony has found it difficult in a world where cheap electronics and a unification of services are what the public appears to want.
The firm has had its 'One Sony' vision for quite some time in one form or another to unify services and products, however was beaten to the punch in various emerging segments of industry by services such as iTunes and Facebook and, out-priced when it came to hardware markets such as television.
Most recently, new CEO, Kazuo Hirai, has attempted to reinvigorated Sony's vision, taking matters a step further, closing-up Sony Mobile HQ and moving it back from Sweden to Tokyo as well as closing various plants and outsourcing production where the firm is unable to remain competitive, maintaining a focus on product-design instead. Other teams have been brought together and more physical assets sold-off in an attempt to unify efforts whilst cutting overheads.
It appears as though Kazuo's radical approach may very well have been the right one for Sony. The firm made an operating loss of £123 million in its second quarter, that's almost half of the previous year's quarter and pales in comparison to the £3.53 billion the firm lost last year, which demonstrates a reduction in losses of over seven fold if the trend continues against the previous financial year. Sony has attributed improvements to its mobile market, which include smartphones and portable computers.
What's perhaps most interesting is that, despite all of its closures and scaling-back, the firm managed to increase its quarterly revenue to £12.43 billion, up from £12.20 billion in the same period last year. We wonder how these new revelations and Sony's new working attitude will change the firm going forward.