Predictions

by Mike Masnick




Should Sony Go Straight To (Handheld) Video?

from the gotta-do-something dept

Ever since Apple came out with the iPod, people have wondered why it wasn't Sony that came out with such a device. Historically, it was always Sony that was at the forefront of portable consumer electronics, but on this one, they missed the boat. Gizmodo's Peter Rojas has his latest column up for Wired News, where he suggests that Sony should give up on trying to compete with the iPod, but instead, should leapfrog Apple and focus on their personal video player. Of course, the problem may be the same thing that has made Sony late to the game with an iPod competitor. The content side of Sony is still scared stiff about how these portable digital players can be used to (oh no!) copy and play their content. While a long term visionary company might realize that owning both the content and the delivery mechanism would allow the company to create a solution that almost no one else could match (thereby demolishing the competition and conquering much of the market) Sony's been a bit slow to catch on. Of course, I'm not yet convinced that portable video is a killer app in the same way portable music is. Portable music has a long history of success. Portable video has a long history of failure (remember the hype around handheld televisions?). I'd much rather see Sony concentrating on ways to improve their Clie handheld device, adding more wireless functionality and building in more multimedia capabilities than seeing them waste their time on yet another single purpose handheld device.

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  • identicon
    Mark, 13 Oct 2003 @ 8:51am

    Single-purpose device?

    "I'd much rather see Sony concentrating on ways to improve their Clie handheld device, adding more wireless functionality and building in more multimedia capabilities than seeing them waste their time on yet another single purpose handheld device."

    But there's no reason for it to be a single-purpose device. I just ordered one of Archos' old models, so maybe I'll be back here in a month or two ranting about what a stupid waste it was, but it's far from a single-purpose device. It it's a handheld DVR, it's a MP3 player, and it's a 20-gig hard drive I can slip in my pocket. Right there is a bunch of functionality, and if you're willing to pay a little extra you can get add-ons that turn it into a digital camera and a FM radio recording device. That's a lot of purposes.

    I think it's a mistake to say "it's portable video, and who wants that?" The video functionality is built on a hardware platform that can be used for a variety of different things. A company with imagination could turn out a digital device that packs a hell of a lot into a single package. My money is on Apple, though -- Sony is too tied up in knots over the DRM questions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Joe Schmoe, 13 Oct 2003 @ 9:52am

    PVR for Clies

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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