back to article Sony 2011 losses are TWICE as bad as expected

Sony has more than doubled its forecast for losses in fiscal 2011 to ¥520bn ($6.4bn, £4bn) after figuring out it will owe an extra ¥300bn ($3.69bn, £2.32bn) in taxes in the fourth quarter. The Japanese firm said today that it had to pay the additional tax on assets that were mainly in the US. "Due to the recording of this …

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Facepalm

My god, if this doesn't show that Sony have lost the plot, I don't know what does.

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Losing its way

I used to have a high opinion of Sony equipment but since buying a PVR with an absolutely dire user interface (you can edit a tv recording but not an radio one, which seeme to take up just as much space on the hard disc) I've rather gone off them. The machine takes so long to boot up that it might as well be running Windows, then I have to press the TV/DVD button twice before the picture and sound come through even though I've been hearing the sound on crosstalk for the previous two minutes.

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they forgot what's important

Somewhere along the line Sony started seeing it's own customers as the enemy and started trying to force DRM down the throats of it's users and disabling features on devices that people already paid for.

In the last year I bought a new cell phone and TV and in both cases I excluded Sony products for no other reason than the way they treat their own customers and I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks that way.

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Re: they forgot what's important

DRM, please, everybody stop going on about this... rootkits were not directly sonys fault and every company known to man is now enforcing DRM onto any content...

still, i find sony overpriced, averagely styled and shockingly average.... everything I owned used to that brand, but over the years its been replaced by other brands (on current technical merit not politics) and now its just down to my PS3 & PSP

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Anonymous Coward

Re: they forgot what's important -Are you serious ?

Sony's rootkit was not Sony's fault ? Do you realize what you just said ?

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Mushroom

Amen to that !

Personally, I will never forgive them for having crowbar'd Java in the Blu-Ray specs. I was offered a Sony DVD player with HDD and, although I admit it is practical for recording and burning TV shows on DVD, it somehow cannot read or write DVD-RWs (although it says it can in the manual), it sticks a stupid Sony menu on any DVD you burn (which, on some other DVD readers prevents going beyond the first title element) and it takes a whole 90 seconds to start up when you press the bloomin' ON button (even though it's never really OFF in the first place).

This poor experience, plus SONY's documented history of taking large dumps on its customers' rights with sodding DRM schemes and somehow believing that they have the divine right to spy on what I watch and decide in my place if I have the right to watch it has been the drop that maketh the cup overflow.

Sod SONY. I know it'll be hard for those who work there, but I am not buying another SONY product as long as I live.

I might go BluRay one day, but it'll be with a knockoff brand that allows me to view what I put in it and doesn't decide on my rights in my stead.

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Re: they forgot what's important

"in both cases I excluded Sony products for no other reason than the way they treat their own customers and I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks that way."

I agree completely -- that reflects my own line of thinking on the basis of experience with a flawed piece of Sony equipment which after been returned twice to Sony still didn't work properly. Comet, believe it or not, swapped it for a Panasonic equivalent which has performed absolutely faultlessly for nearly twenty years. I haven't bought anything branded Sony in that time and have no intention of so doing, either.

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FAIL

Re: they forgot what's important -Are you serious ?

Wasn't it a company called First4Internet?

And SonyBMG, amongst others bought it from them.

But then why let facts get in the way of a great Internet myth. The Internet would be a boring place, if you don't have the Sony Rootkit DRM idiots to laugh at...

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When tech was more about mechanics and electrical engineering Sony was a player. Now that software is more important, Sony's UIs lack usability and their hardware is less differentiated and more relatively expensive.

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It's not just about the software, however. Their hardware is no longer particularly outstanding in either build quality or level of technical innovation.

Their problem (with TVs and the like) is that they have gone from being 'expensive, but the best' to just plain expensive.

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Unhappy

As a Sony Ericsson fan, I'm worried. The Japanese just don't get user interfaces.

Indeed, and as a long-time Sony Ericsson fan I am now worried as to what will happen to one of the greatest phone manufacturers now that Sony has gained control. IMO, Sony Ericsson's mobile software has always been among the best out there, but that is because it was developed in Europe. Sony have now placed a Japanese guy in charge of mobile user experience - a very bad omen indeed!

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DJV
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Sony through the ages

1970s - Great quality home music centres, far better than anything than anyone else was coming up with for the price. Trinitron CRT TVs.

1980s - Walkmans and then Discmans!

1990s - Playstation

2000s - Rootkit fiasco

2010s - Freakishly bad web security which pissed off a good number of people. Removing second OS support in PS3 thereby pissing off a good number of people

Doesn't look like a promising trend!

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Bronze badge

Re: Sony through the ages

Other than the PS3, music labels and movie studios, I can't think of a single thing Sony has an influence over. They do not have significant share in laptops, phones, tvs, mp3 players or any consumer electronics market (outside of video game consoles and I guess Bluray?). I think it is time for Sony to spin off Sony Playstation and Sony Media (music and movies) and let the hardware part of the company go bankrupt.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sony through the ages

You left out forcing bluray down our throats... I wonder how much of their debt was from having to pay studios to pick bludud over hd-dvd...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sony through the ages

2020s: patent lawsuits, copyright trolling and desperate attempts to claim ownership of IP they have already sold/is clearly owned by someone else.

Can we bypass the 15-year-long downfall on this craptastic company and say say "so long and thanks for SCOing yourself, you arrogant, egotistical, consumer-hostile barstwards?"

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DJV

Re: Sony through the ages

And we all forgot the exploding batteries!

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It's not that hard

Vodafone manage to pay no corporation tax. Not sure why Sony can't work that shit out for themselves. Also, I like how most of the comments are whinging about drops in product quality from Sony over the years. I'm afraid if you equate product quality with profitability you haven't understood 21st century economics.

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Anonymous Coward

Good business rules 101 - 103

101: Don't hack your customers' computers.

You'd have thought Sony would have learned something from the reputation hit that came from the policy of compromising customer systems to control use of music CDs with their Music CD rootkit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal

102: Keep promises made to customers.

Instead they turned their back on promises made to customers to support multiple operating systems on their products: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/02/otheros-class-action-lawsuit-geohot-sony-now-share-same-charge.ars .

103: Don't bully or intimidate your customers.

Then they messed with George Hotz because he had done their customers some favours by showing Sony's customers new and interesting ways of using Sony products: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Hotz#Sony_lawsuit .

Very likely as retaliation against Sony's contemptuous attitude towards customers described above, unidentified individuals took down the Sony network for an extended period and published personal details of 77 million users in April 2011.

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft's plan is working better than they could have ever expected.

I mean they only wanted to make consumers believe that Sony were shit at making consoles to give them a break, but the media has fueled the fire beyond what even Microsoft's spin doctors had ever imagined.

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The bigger they are...

Whimpy > Owned the fast food market... I think there's left one in Runcorn behind ASDA...

BT > Have actually managed to cling on to some dignity - But not their cash, losing billions a year

RIM > Never really a 'giant', but struggling to change.

Nokia > Giants in their area when I was growing up... Now a joke.

HP > One of the biggest IT companies in the world, too slow to react...

Sony > The SONY badge used to be a sign of quality, then it became an excuse to add £500 on to the cost

BBC > Not what it used to be... Still raping the UK with it's tax on turds though.

I'll update in 2030 to include Apple, Facebook, Twitter and BSkyB.

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Losing yet more money

The amount of these Sony profit warnings have read over the past couple of years it seems like they've been losing money for an eternity.

It's a real shame about the job loses but hopefully then can get back to making cutting edge tech that people want to buy and then actually make a profit soon.

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Anonymous Coward

Another Olympus?

holy cow, thats a lot of dough, every year. Can you believe any company in Asia?

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Here's an idea Sony: stop treating your customer's like thieves. Put back the feature on the PS3 that they paid for that you decided to pull. Figure out some basic web security (here's a hint: passwords stored in databases should be hashed, preferably with a unique salt for each user to thwart rainbow tables).

Repeat after me: "Our customers are not our enemy. They do not want to rob us. They want to pay us. They are our source of income. We piss them off at our own peril."

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Anonymous Coward

If Sony had stayed out of Walmart and their ilk, maybe they wouldnt have ruined their name with a mad dash to the bottom. Oh yeah and the root kit thing.

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FAIL

Actually

Sony sealed their fate long before Walmart. They sealed it when they bought a media studio and actually believed hardware creation and media creation could be done by one company successfully without the massive conflict of interest those two industries tend to have with one another.

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FAIL

hmm

So is it safe to assume the grand experiment of having a major media studio design DRM laced overpriced meh hardware has been a failure? (Sony is now a media company pretending to do hardware). You knew this days was coming just by the fact people under 25 say iPod instead of Walkman (studio side gimped any digital music player for far too long) for music player.

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Holmes

Next year will be better

The general decline will probably continue but this is the "get any bad news we have out while it's Stringer's fault so Hirai can have a fighting chance at a profit next year" moment. Even if it is as bad (which baring more earthquakes it shouldn't be) he would halve the losses as he won't have to take the one off hit.

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Megaphone

The solution...

... is to put the former Sony Ericsson guys in charge. Those guys knew software and user interfaces. Unfortunately, the idiots in charge are doing the complete opposite and want Japanese control - a sure path to doom.

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Sony 2011 losses

Its really sad to hear that. Eventhough Sony has been one of the most significant companies in consumer electronics, the company has been posting huge losses for the past 4 years running. The company is restructuring and will fire 10,000 employees. I hope they will overcome this problem concerning all the employees and their families.

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