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Sony just starting on PSP-based iPhone rival?

updated 09:00 am EDT, Mon June 29, 2009

Sony PSP Phone Leak

Sony is just now developing a gaming-themed phone that would be targeted explicitly at the iPhone, Japan's Nikkei BP said this weekend. The company is supposedly creating a device team as soon as July that would merge the gaming qualities of the PSP with its Sony Ericsson handsets. It's implied that the device would have a touchscreen to better position the device against Apple's hardware.

It's not completely certain that the project will start, and as it will be in the very earliest stage, no launch information or details of the phone itself are available.

Development of a PlayStation-themed phone would contradict Sony's past attitude towards competition with Apple in handhelds. It has dismissed the iPhone as a threat to the PSP and, according to rumors that have since been publicly denied, has fought with Ericsson over demands to produce a PlayStation phone. The allegations would have had Sony refuse to cooperate with Ericsson and risk creating a rift between the two.

Sony's corporate structure has also been historically resistant to producing such a phone. The PlayStation division (Sony Computer Entertainment) has historically been separate from both Sony Ericsson and the Walkman divisions, making it difficult for two or three of these to cooperate. While current chief executive Sir Howard Stringer has hoped to improve integration, company culture in Sony has usually encouraged "silos" that rarely talk to each other and at times compete against each other.

Sony is commonly accepted as having thrown away its dominance of the music player market, even in its home country of Japan, by clinging both to its increasingly obsolete MiniDisc format as well as an insistence on the proprietary ATRAC format over universal standards and the absence of a music store. Apple took the lead in 2005 both with the iPod and the iTunes Store and is believed to have maintained that lead since; Sony only just added a touchscreen music player in the Walkman X1000 launched last month.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good Luck

    Good luck Sony as a phone vendor is dying. Their latest offerings don't have that draw factor. We're currently selling an 8 MP slider phone for 50 bucks more than an iPhone 3G S... guess which phone we're selling more of?

  1. thebiggfrogg

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It ain't the games...

    ...its the OS underneath that makes all the apps possible and useful, including games. Is Sony going to pull that out of their a** or just use Win-dohs Mobile? Slapping a phone onto a PSP would be stupid and useless.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Come on now

    This is what Sony seems to do best! Let infighting and internal politics slow them down to the point where the market passes them by.

    And it's not true that Sony's groups don't work together. In fact, IIRC, they stuck with ATRAC and Minidisc and all their plethora of proprietary formats on the electronics side because the music content side was worried about piracy. That's a great example of how they cooperation!

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Let us just build a

    device to compete against the iPhone. Sounds like a great plan...NOT! They really just don't get it. They're trying to compete with Apple on a single device basis. It's not much of a vision. As Apple's mobile platform continues to evolve, Sony will always be a step behind.

    All Sony is saying is let's make a copy of the iPhone and add better hardware and that's how we'll beat it. If Sony was smart, they be better off just staying away from competing with the iPhone. They should just go on building home stereos, TVs, DVD recorders and such. The smartphone sector is getting too complicated for just hardware manufacturers to deal with.

    Sony (Ericsson) handsets are really high-tech devices, but the OS is just not up to competing with anything Apple has to offer.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    As if...

    As if something under development now will compete with whatever apple will come out with next. Can anyone say zune?

    - A

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