A rendition of an Apple-branded television set.
The WSJ reports that amid losing money on every television set they make, Sony somehow has a strategy for redemption. Stringer declined to provide details about what Sony is developing but said “there’s a tremendous amount of R&D going into a different kind of TV set”.
He he has “no doubt” Apple’s Steve Jobs also was working on changing the traditional TV set. “That’s what we’re all looking for”, he noted, warning “it will take a long time to transition to a new form of television”. Slim margins, low prices and little innovation make the business of researching, developing and marketing high-definition television sets a cutthroat one, he remarked:
We can’t continue selling TV sets [the way we have been]. Every TV set we all make loses money.
His company, Stringer said, spent the last five years creating an ecosystem to take on Apple, even though the company had seen little success with the Google TV platform and other connected television efforts:
I spent the last five years building a platform so I can compete against Steve Jobs. It’s finished, and it’s launching now.
The comment reminds us about Motorola’s Ed Zander reaction ahead of the iPhone release back in 2007. Asked by a reporter “How do you deal with this?”, Zander quipped “How do they deal with us?”. And just like Stringer today, Zander added fuel to persistent speculation about Apple’s interest in producing a mobile phone. “We know that they are going to build a smart phone – it’s only a matter of time”, he told CNET in September 2005, two and a half years before Apple released iPhone and ate his lunch.
Analysts are predicting an integrated television set from Apple for 2013, with Siri being the killer feature. The authorized bio by Walter Isaacson quoted Jobs as saying he finally “cracked” the code to building an HDTV:
It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.