Sony eyes Apple’s coat-tails

A posting on Sony’s electronics blog made me cringe. It’s called Sony and Apple: Two Birds of a Feather or Twins of Different Mothers. The writer, Rick Clancy, senior vice president of Corporate Communications at Sony U.S.A., seems hell-bent at hitching their cart to Apple’s horse:

Although a generation apart, both companies were co-founded by the dynamic combination of engineering genius (Massaru Ibuka in Sony’s case and Steven Wozniak for Apple) and marketing savvy (Akio Morita and Steve Jobs, respectively).

Certainly, there is a fair amount of envy that goes in both directions. In fact, I can recall a reference by Steve Jobs some years ago in the press where he mentioned his “VAIO Envy,” and I noticed a reference to the Sony VAIO TZ notebook line while he was introducing the MacBook Air laptop at MacWorld.

The link supposedly leading to Jobs’ confessed Vaio Envy instead takes you to the text of his MacWorld keynote address. He does indeed mention the Vaio TZ, but only to say he believes the compromises Sony made are too great. They got the weight right, but the speed, display, and keyboard all suffer. Not exactly a statement of envy.

This comparison is the first of many, obviously viewed through rose-coloured Sony glasses. Each points to a product or characteristic of Apple, tosses out a restrained compliment, then glows about how Sony’s product is better, or how their company is somehow superior.

In this case, corporate communications seems to mean marketing. Throughout blog entry, Clancy tries to give the impression that Sony and Apple are two peas in the same pod. Give us some credit. Sony used to have at least the reputation Apple currently enjoys, but they managed to squander it by stepping all over their customers.

The only way to regain their former standing is to start respecting their remaining customers and perhaps they’ll work their way past their recent blunders. Idiotic marketing ploys like Clancy’s posting simply makes their dire straits abundantly clear. Desperation attracts no one.

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