In a recent interview with Tech-On, Sony Chairman and CEO Howard Stringer made several comments about Apple’s products, including the suggestion that the Japanese electronics giant may have been able to best the iPod had it made different business decisions. When asked about the importance of open technology, Stringer pointed to Sony’s Connect music download service as failure, saying its proprietary DRM scheme “created a problem.” Stringer added, “customers couldn’t download music from any Websites except those that contracted with Sony. If we had gone with open technology from the start, I think we probably would have beaten Apple Inc of the US.” Stringer also said that Sony needed to “grab” the opportunity to offer device-agnostic files before Apple, presumably referencing Apple’s DRM-laden movie files, since the iTunes Store has since gone DRM-free. In addition, he briefly pointed to the Apple TV as an indicator of how users are beginning to change their TV viewing habits, saying the company is “evolving the PS3 into a platform for Web services. TV development is also in a period of transition; the fact that sales volume is growing for the Apple TV, a kind of set-top box, might be evidence of an emerging trend.” [via Engadget]
Sony CEO: Open tech could have beaten Apple
Charles Starrett was a senior editor at iLounge. He's been covering the iPod, iPhone, and iPad since their inception. He has written numerous articles and reviews, and his work has been featured in multiple publications.