With its Xperia smartphones, Sony has built a solid reputation in the smartphone world. However, the company is much larger than it seems, Sony has been opening up to other horizons for many years. Some anecdotes on the subject are quite funny, you will find below various stories about the brand.
1. SONY Is Not a Japanese Name in Any Way
When we see the names of Japanese companies such as Toyota or Mitsubishi, we quickly associate them with the land of the Rising Sun. We would tend to think that Sony and Panasonic are American companies or, at least, located in an English-speaking country. Yet they are Japanese, as their name does not indicate.
The origin of the Sony name is Latin. The Japanese giant explained that he had been inspired by the word “sonus” which means “sound“, to which he would have replaced the ending “us” (probably because it did not give a sufficiently modern image) with a “y”. In addition, the name can easily be pronounced in all languages, which is of course an international advantage.
2. Sony and Apple: It’s Not a Beautiful Novel But It’s a Beautiful Story
Let’s go back in time and take an interest in one of the main characters in our smartphone world: Steve Jobs. He has never concealed his interest, or even his admiration, for the Japanese firm.
He had an excellent relationship with one of Sony’s founders: Akiro Morita. The friendship between these two people influenced both companies, even when Steve Jobs was no longer present, and allowed for various collaborations.
Several technological and intercultural anecdotes exist on the subject, including that of a Sony employee hiding in a closet to avoid meeting Steve Jobs, because he was not supposed to be there to help the Americans.
3. Sony Refused To Make a Console With Microsoft
Do you remember the pre-Xbox era? Microsoft was looking for an ally to manufacture consoles: it would take care of the software version and its partner would take care of the hardware part. He initially approached Nintendo but they were not interested.
Microsoft then approached Sony. In order not to accuse a new refusal, Microsoft pulled out the heavy artillery: Bill Gates himself came to make an offer. Once again, the offer was rejected and Microsoft decided to do it on its own.
4. Sony Did Not Invent The Concept of Walkman
The idea of a portable audio device has not been made concrete by Sony, contrary to what can often be heard. It was first put into practice by the German Andreas Pavel in 1972 when he created the “Stereobelt” (literally “the stereo belt” in German).
Sony became aware of this project and, while Andreas Pavel was struggling to find a manufacturer, decided to create the device and market it under the name Walkman in 1979. Of course, Pavel went to court and spent over $3 million on the case, but he finally won this fight in 2003. He received 10 million euros as well as royalties on Walkman sales.
He was talking about suing the other companies that exploited the vein (including Apple for his iPod), but he abandoned the idea in 2005, explaining that he didn’t have the heart to go back into endless legal proceedings.
5. Sony Had a Hard Time Winning James Bond’s Heart
His name is Bond. James Bond. More precisely, it is Daniel Craig. After Sony’s hacking in 2015, many conversations were disclosed, and on one of them we could read that marketing negotiations are ongoing. Among other things, we could see a $5 million offer for product placement.
In another email, we can see that the negotiations went badly because Daniel Craig and another person refuse to use a Sony smartphone. Why, you ask yourself? “James Bond only uses the best, and according to them Sony phones are not the best.” Fortunately, things have improved and an agreement has been reached.
Do you know any other backgrounds about Sony?