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Tough year for Sony


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It looks like Sony's arrogance is finally starting to hit their bottom line. They were a force back in the 80's but have continued to charge Rolls-Royce type prices for their products in markets that have changed dramatically in the last 10-15 years.

Why Vizio is giving Sony (SNE) and Samsung flat-panel TV fits

Posted Aug 22nd 2007 2:40PM by Brian White

Filed under: Products and services, Sony Corp ADR (SNE)

Looks like Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) won't be resting under fearless CEO Sir Howard Stringer any time soon. The consumer electronics giant continues to get hammered in so many of the staple businesses that used to make up its bread-n-butter. In the latest installment, a rising star in the flat-panel television business seems to have its hand around Sony's neck in that market.

Vizio, a virtual unknown in the television business 18 months ago, has been undercutting plasma and LCD television prices for quite some time in the retail sector and is squeezing profits from Sony, Samsung and other big names. While competition is good, Sony may be publicly proclaiming that rapid-fire and deep flat-panel television pricing may be bad for the overall television market. Privately, Sony is probably feeling the profit pinch by this newer competitor that has ascended to the top spot in flat-panel LCD televisions shipped to retailers in the second quarter of this year.

How does Vizio do it? By using contract manufacturers for making all its televisions and a unique distribution strategy, according to CEO William Wang. Is Sony in such a diverse retail distribution field that includes Circuit City, Wal-Mart, Costco, Kmart and Sears? Apparently not -- but Vizio is. And, all that retail exposure is fanning the flames of its incredible flat-panel television sales. Would you rather spend $1,000 on a 32-inch Sony LCD television or a 47-inch Vizio unit if the quality was comparable? Customers are choosing Vizio.


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Meh. I got my 32" Sony for 500$ because it was a display at Costco, while the Vizio's 32" there was 600$. My other TV was a great deal too, and again Sony.

You will always get a good deal on a display model. I bought a Philips 27" TV 15 years ago that was $200 less than any new one.

Sony makes good quality stuff but they charge insane prices. I just took a look at the BestBuy website and a 32" Sony Bravia LCD was going for $1,399.99.

I bought a 42" HP (made by Philips) Plasma for $1,000 in February. It's a great TV.

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