Sony recently exhibited their new and upcoming products at a gathering held for the media and their partners. Products showcased involved the new OLED based A1 TV that was debuted at CES as well as Sony’s upcoming range of colorful wireless speakers. Another purpose of the event was to introduce Mr. Taro Kimura, the new Managing Director for Sony Middle East & Africa.
Mr. Kimura has been with Sony since 2003 and was most recently the Vice President for Consumer Electronics at Sony Europe. I managed to spend a few minutes with him at the event and asked him a few questions regarding competition and Sony’s product strategy moving forward.
The below interview has been edited for clarity.
Sony has a massive portfolio with multiple products targeted towards the higher-end. How difficult is it to compete with multiple, class leading manufacturers at the same time.
That is a good question but very difficult to answer. We have very good core technologies that are unique and differentiated from our competitors. Take TVs where we are competing with Samsung, LG or other brands. The picture quality is not defined by panels. Picture quality is always defined by the combination of the panel control technology and a signal processor. Sony has a very strong advantage with these key technologies. That differentiates us from others.
With cameras, all the key components like image sensors, image processor, and software are developed in-house. We have the world's biggest image sensor technology. Many of the smartphone companies, as well as some camera brands, buy our image sensors for their use. We have quite a big advantage on cameras technology.
In the audio segment, Sony has historically been very strong. We have very unique technology of compressing audio and very high resolution audio. In each of these segment, we have unique and advanced technologies which differentiate us from others and helps us compete.
You have Android on TVs and Phones. Will we see it on your cameras as well?
As I said earlier, with the camera, all key components including software are developed in-house . At this point of time, I am not sure how Android can work in a camera. At the same time, I have to refrain from commenting about future products.
Sony does some interesting things with Xperia- the most recent was the open style earphones concept shown at MWC. Any plans on integrating such technologies into high-end Sony audio products?
These core technologies are developed in Sony headquarters Definitely, some of the progression may happen, but I can't comment on future products.
Do you think OLED technology is future of TV panels?
As of now, we still believe that LCD is the best in terms of performance and technology. But with the development of OLED panels, the performance of the panel keeps getting better and costs get more affordable. That’s why we choose the OLED panel [for the A1]. Our unique point is that we are not a vendor for panels. So we chose whichever panel is good for our core technology such as the signal processor.
Any plans to bring Ultra Short Throw Projectors to the Middle East?
I hope so, but at this point of time I don't have anything to share.
I would like to thank Mr. Taro Kimura and the team at Sony Middle East for this interview opportunity.