During a Q&A segment with reporters, Stan Glasgow, president of Sony Electronics consumer sales, and chief marketing officer Mike Fasulo discussed a variety of issues, some which will be detailed at International CES in January.
When will Sony begin to merge its content and hardware effectively to combat Apple's efforts?
Glasgow: The ball game isn't over yet, but it is getting later in the game. We are working hard to put the right solution in place, in the not too distant future in the audio and video market.
Is the decline of CRT business a surprise?
Glasgow: It has been faster than we expected and we have had to balance our production [in the United States]. We were at the higher end of the market. Still we expect to see CRT around for several years to come.
Will PS3 be the first Blu ray product introduced?
Glasgow: Blu-ray will be part of PS3, but we expect more introductions. We will see and expect product announcements [to be ready] by CES.
Is there concern at Sony that HD DVD will reach the U.S. market before Blu-ray?
Glasgow: Sony is concerned from the highest levels in the company. Our approach to the market will be reflected during the CES press conference and [Sony chairman/CEO] Sir Howard Stringer's keynote speech there.
Are more Sony Style stores planned for calendar year 2006?
Glasgow: By the end of this year we will have 30 stores, including two flagship stores in New York and San Francisco. We will continue to build but will build fewer than the last fiscal year, which ended March 31. We will build more in the coming fiscal year [starting April 1, 2006].
What is Sony doing to educate consumers about HDTV at retail?
Fasulo: Confusion is overwhelming at retail, so we are using online resources for consumers to learn more about [HDTV] display. We want our message as simple and clear as possible and want an educated customer for the industry. This is a big paradigm shift for consumers. We have also set up HDTV “domes” in retail parking lots to explain to consumers what HDTV is and to help them avail the fear of new technology. We did the same thing in Washington for Congress recently.