New York — In Stan Glasgow’s first press roundtable as president/COO of Sony Electronics, the executive was peppered with a wide-variety of issues, from cable card, to component costs and other issues.
Here is Glasgow’s take on a few of these subjects:
On Sony’s Commitment to CableCARD: “We are disappointed on how it has worked so far in the U.S. market. Cable CARD provides the best picture to the consumer. But when you do that cable companies loses control of the GUI (graphically user interface). When you go through a set-top, it controls the GUI and the picture is of lower quality. It is still a major issue between the cable industry and TV manufacturers. Cable CARD does not provide revenue for the cable industry. It is the best product for the consumer. I hope we have two-way CableCARD. Are we committed to it? Absolutely. Are the cable companies for it? Absolutely not.”
On iPod, MP3 and its Connect online music effort: “We had some disappointments and we could discuss iPod forever. As for Connect, we didn’t execute this well as a combined company. We are still working on it because we didn’t get the kind of results we wanted to last year. We hope we have learned what we did wrong [in downloads] and learned from it. Eventually books, videos, music will all be downloaded. We are still working on handheld video and looking at different products. We are experimenting, but not ready to introduce products as yet.”
Impact of higher energy costs on consumers’ CE purchases: “It will be affected by various degrees. I think the Wal-Mart customer will be affected the most and cascade to others. Sony is a premium product line, so I don’t think it will affect us as much.”
Possible CE component shortages: “They are getting tighter. More study is needed on this. But when you consider that CE product demand in Japan, China and India is great, and that sales of HDTV, cellphones and many other products are at a peak, there could be tight component supplies. But I don’t think prices will go up. I haven’t seen that in my 20-plus years in the business.”