Today, Sony are a multinational corporation with fingers in every major pie. From major motion pictures and finance, to gaming, music, network services and even medical business, there are few areas in which the Japanese company don't excel. Their bread and butter, however, has always been in consumer electronics, as whilst Playstation might be the gaming brand that essentially ended the two horse race between Sega and Nintendo, and whilst Sony's entertainment division is responsible for some of the biggest musical acts and the most popular movies of the last decade, it's in consumer electronics where the company first made its name, and their products continue to define the industry to this day.
Like the vast majority of the major Japanese electronics firms, Sony's origins stem from the wake of World War 2, when Masaru Ibuka started a humble electronics shop at the back of a department store in Tokyo. He was eventually joined by his colleague, Akio Morita, and they founded a company called “Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo,” which was changed to the more marketable name of “Sony,” after they built Japan's first tape recorder, the “Type-G.” The name Sony was chosen because it mixed two words; the Latin word “Sonus” (Sound) and the slang term “Sonus,” which was essentially the Japanese equivalent of “Sonny Boy,” and a term used at the time to describe presentable young men. So the company's fashionable inclinations were there from the get-go! The duo initially considered using the company's initials of course, but unfortunately, TTK were already the initials used by a popular Tokyo railway company.
Sony officially 'broke America' in the mid-50s thanks to their TR-63 radio, which became a firm favourite amongst American teens, who helped to propel the fledgling industry from an estimated 100,000 units in 1955 to 5 million units by the end of the 60s! In fact, Morita founded Sony Corporation of America in 1960, and from there, the company's international domination was all but written in the stars. Sony also played a major role in the development of Japan as a powerful exporter during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and once the company moved into the video gaming market with great success in the 90s, the brand had officially made its way into the mainstream consciousness.
Despite international expansion, the company is still headquartered today in Tokyo, and remains a defiantly Japanese company, in both its business practices and its branding. The sleek, largely black and highly economical designs have become something of a Sony staple, and hold a uniformity amongst most of their flagship products, including their outstanding smartphones and games consoles. Renowned for its production quality, Sony is able to charge above-market prices for its consumer electronics, which means their devices generally sit at the higher end of the market, but the quality is always obvious and tangible, so for enthusiasts and those who can tell the difference between a good picture or sound and a great picture or sound, Sony has become the go-to brand. So whether you're a tech fiend in the market for a new family television or an audiophile looking for a professional quality stereo system with the assurance of a known brand, look no further!