How do you fix a problem like Sony's chronically ailing TV business? New company CEO Kaz Hirai reckons the answer lies in streamlining the number of products offered, by a full 40 percent during the fiscal 2012, and focusing on the development and introduction of new high-end displays such as OLED and Crystal LED. We loved our first sighting of Sony's Crystal LED prototype at CES in January this year, so Kaz's vision definitely strikes the right note with us. Additionally, the company's Bravia brand retains a cachet of high quality among TV buyers, so moving the entire portfolio up in the price and quality range seems like an entirely feasible goal for Sony to pursue.
In hard financial terms, Sony will look to reduce the fixed costs of its TV production arm by 60 percent by 2013, with a view to returning to profitability — for the first time in nearly a decade — during that fiscal year. Operational costs should also drop by 30 percent if all goes to plan. Other ways in which Sony promises to enhance its Bravia TV range include better audio and better integration with the company's mobile products, both of which have a lot of promise, but aren't as concrete as the pledge to keep driving toward turning OLED and Crystal LED TVs into a retail reality. Kaz is cautious, and notes that LCD is still by the far the biggest and most important market, but you've got to be excited to see this grand Japanese company advancing into higher-tech displays.