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Sony chief discusses Apple, iPhone

updated 04:45 pm EDT, Mon March 19, 2007

Sony chief on Apple

Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer said he wouldn't bet against Apple's chief, and and talked about how Sony missed out on the portable music boom. Stringer, who joined Sony in 1997 and became the company's chairman and CEO the following year, said Sony had its own portable music player before Apple debuted its first iPod. "In 1997 we were working with IBM on electronic music distribution and could have put this out five years earlier [than iPod]," Stringer said. "But we couldn't get our people to understand software. And we are a music company. They saw digital media, panicked and didn't like it." Sony later unveiled a closed music system that failed to perform the way the company had hoped.

When asked about Apple's iPhone, Stringer was positive about Apple's entry into the cellular phone market.

"The good news is that Steve Jobs spotted a trend that we've seen. The phone is a convergence device, between music and a phone. We are all building variations on the same theme. We have sold plenty of Walkman phones [from Sony Ericsson], especially in Europe."

The executive also expressed some concern as a result of Apple's boss joining the ranks of the cellphone industry.

"I would never sit up here and say I'm not worried about Steve Jobs," Stringer admitted. "I wouldn't bet against Steve."

by MacNN Staff





  1. iChick

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "In 1997 we were working with IBM on electronic music distribution and could have put this out five years earlier [than iPod]," Stringer said.

    Woulda, coulda, shoulda.........

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    stringer's helm

    If the past ten years of Sony's performance were to be Stringer's legacy, uh I wouldn't really want to be Stringer. Let's see now...missed the MP3 boat completely, way late to the LCD TV market, rootkits on their music CD's, serious delays to the PS3...could this guy be Howard The Duck?

  1. Art Vandelay

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Stringer's History

    He has not been the CEO and Chairman of Sony since 1998. He was the CEO and Chairman of Sony of America in 1998 to 2005. Then he was promoted to CEO of Sony in 2005.

  1. dozx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    he is a smart man

    Well at least he has the brain to spot a winner in Steve Jobs and Apple, and not just right them off and call them "no threat" like other idiot CEOs I've read about. The first step in getting respect is showing and giving it. There is hope for this one...... now Palm and Microsuck they would rather pretend they don't have a problem and call a serious threat no big deal and hope they make it.

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