January 1, 2014
Will Sony Release a Windows Phone?
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
According to a new report from the relatively new, paywall-protected site The Information, Microsoft is currently negotiating with Sony over the development of a mobile phone that would run the Windows mobile operating system.
The website cited “a person who was involved in the talks and a person briefed about the device” in claiming that Sony could bring a Windows phone to market by the middle of 2014. The electronics maker has only made Android phones during its four years in the mobile phone industry.
Nokia is currently considered the predominant Windows phone maker, a big factor in Microsoft acquiring the Finnish company’s devices and service businesses in September for $7.2 billion. According to reports, talks between Sony and Microsoft continued even as the Nokia acquisition was being announced.
If Sony does release a Windows phone, possibly under its Vaio brand, it would be seen as a step forward for Microsoft’s mobile operating system, which has struggled to match the prevalence of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
Microsoft is also reportedly talking with Chinese telecommunications company ZTE Corporation, possibly over low-end Windows Phone smartphones to be sold the US, Europe and China. Microsoft also has contracts with device makers Acer, HTC and LG.
A deal between the two companies would add another twist to their complicated history together. With sales of Nintendo’s Wii U system slightly dropping off, the gaming console competition has become a two-horse race between Sony’s Playstation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One.
According to Sony, its video game console sold more than a million units in the United States in its first 24 hours of availability on November 15. Independent video game analyst Billy Pidgeon said the console’s release in Japan early this year could provide a big boost to sales.
“It is difficult to say since it has been a long time since Sony has released a system in Japan,” Pidgeon told redOrbit. “Japan has been very different than other regions. Things have slowed there in recent years, and hardware sales have been driven very much by games.”
According to research firm IHS iSuppli, the new Sony system could reach profitability much faster than it was able to with the PS3.
“This time, Sony is on a greatly shortened path to the hardware break-even point, or even profitability, with its cost-conscious PlayStation 4 design,” said Andrew Rassweiler, senior director, cost benchmarking services for IHS. “The company is pulling off this feat, despite offering a brand-new design that once again includes avant-garde components that yield superfast performance. The PlayStation 4 keeps a lid on costs by focusing all the additional expense on the processor and memory—and reducing outlays for the optical drive, the hard disk drive (HDD) and other subsystems.”
Microsoft released its Xbox One video game console just a week after the launch of the PS4 and the company announced that its gaming console reached one million units sold in just 24 hours. The Microsoft system launched in 13 markets on November 22, while the November 15 launch of the PS4 occurred in just two markets.