Sony's TV division hasn't made a profit in eight long, barren years, but the company's CEO, Howard Stringer, is now ready to reverse that trend. "We can't continue selling TV sets" in this manner, he tells the Wall Street Journal, "every TV set we make loses money." His solution is to offer a new and altogether different kind of TV set, although in typical CEO fashion, he refuses to elaborate on what that might involve. He simply offers the assurance that a great deal of R&D investment is going into designing a new TV that could reverse Sony's fortunes.
Stringer's ambition to re-energize the flagging TV sector may seem quixotic when set against against the growing losses and tepid demand that everyone not named Samsung or LG seems to be experiencing, but let's not forget this is Sony we're talking about. When the company set out to upgrade its PlayStation Portable, it went and got a quad-core processor, dual touchscreens, and a whole heap of other enhancements to make the PS Vita a truly standout product. Its approach on the television front sounds like it might be similarly far-reaching and potentially just as exciting. We'll see.
The Sony chief also took a moment to address his company's broader plans for the future, noting that they'll be built around a "four screen" strategy. Networked services (and presumably content) delivered to mobile phones, tablets, PCs, and TVs, says Stringer, will be the core of Sony's drive for profitability in the future. As he puts it, he has "spent the last five years building a platform so [he] can compete against Steve Jobs. It's finished, and it's launching now."