Sony's line of personal CD players once ruled the world of music gadgets — until Apple's iPod killed it off. Now, says The Wall Street Journal, Sony's looking to return the favor. The Japanese giant is preparing to launch a new game-playing Sony-Ericcson smartphone to take down the iPhone — plus an online media service to swipe at iTunes and a multifunction netbook/e-reader/gaming device to conquer the iPad. Is Sony, with its strong history of innovative cool, the company that can finally give Steve Jobs & Co. a run for their money?
Sony's ripe for a comeback: "I miss loving Sony," says Joel Johnson in Gizmodo. And there's nothing wrong with it that can't be fixed. Its "engineering chops are second to none," and it has one "titanic asset" — a drool-worthy music, video, and PlayStation game library — that Apple would die for. If Sony can connect gadget with media, Apple might have real competition.
"We miss Sony"
It's too late for Sony: In the specific categories — phones, mobile gaming, music, and e-readers — Sony is "too far behind" be much a threat to Apple, says Douglas McIntyre in 24/7 Wall Street. That said, Sony's heading in the right direction: The "Holy Grail of consumer electronics devices" will meld the best features of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
"Sony prepares for a come-from-behind defeat"
Sony can compete, if the price is right: Sony can still catch up, says tech analyst Rob Enderle, quoted in Network World. Belatedly taking on Apple in portable gadgets may seem like "closing the barn door after the cows have escaped," but that market won't "explode" till prices fall. If Sony's new offerings undercut Apple on price, boom! "Explosions do create opportunities," after all.
"Sony Takes Aim at Apple iPhone, iPad and iTunes"
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