Sony to shut down Alpha DSLR/SLT lines

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bruce, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    Sony's new CEO, Kaz Hirai, faces huge problems in turning around a
    sprawling technology giant with multiple divisions that are in deep
    trouble. Formerly head of the highly successful Playstation unit, he
    is now turning his attention on loss-making divisions of the Sony
    empire following his appointment today.

    As with Playstation, his focus will be on delivering a great consumer
    experience based on combining devices with content. In his own words,
    "“I’ve said all along whether it’s smartphones or any other device;
    it’s about the consumer experience, it’s not about the device itself.
    Having great devices in and of itself? It’s not what the consumer is
    looking for. We need to bring a great experience.”

    Hirai concedes that “there’s a lot to fix”. He says “I think the most
    important thing as we start on April 1st is to understand where we
    need to be headed”. To imply that Japan’s biggest brand doesn’t know
    that already may be shocking, but it’s not surprising.

    One of the worst performing Sony divisions is the camera division. In
    this division, it is all about *devices* with little or no opportunity
    for selling Sony *content*. So it is only to be expected that Kaz
    Kirai would be looking look very hard at whether cameras can truly
    play a part in his new vision for Sony.

    History has shown that Sony's purchase of the camera division of
    Konica Minolta has been a commercial disaster. Sales of Sony Alpha
    DSLRs have plummeted and the new SLT cameras with pellicle mirrors and
    electronic viewfinders have not been a commercial success.

    Conversely, NEX has been a technical success but sales are being held
    back because of a very poor selection of available lenses.

    Sony claims to be working towards a 20-25% market share have proved
    hollow with the company struggling to achieve much more than a quarter
    of that. Once again, NEX has outperformed Alpha but NEX sales are
    being held back by a poor selection of low quality lenses.

    So the decision has been made to abandon the Alpha range which,
    despite massive investment, is still losing Sony serious amounts of
    cash. Instead, Sony will concentrate on the NEX range which will be
    boosted by investment in better lenses.

    Hirai recognises the enormous value that content can bring to devices
    to create a great experience and calls it "Real Fuel". The challenge
    with NEX, as with any camera division, is that Sony cannot sell
    content, only devices. The hope is that if the devices are good
    enough, device owners can provide the content and ape "Real Fuel".
    Bruce, Apr 1, 2012
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