Sony plans to launch new products

HYDERABAD, AUG. 30. Sony India is in negotiations with its parent company, Sony Corporation, Japan, to introduce cell phones, playstations (video games) and laptops in the Indian market, according to Mr. Teruo Ishii, Managing Director of the wholly owned Indian subsidiary.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, he was hopeful of introducing video games this year, and cell phones by this financial year end or next year. This is part of its efforts to import more latest products, following relaxation in import restrictions.

Mr. Ishii said Sony Corp recently entered into an agreement with Ericsson for starting a joint venture in the U.K. to make cell phones. However, details such as what technology it would adopt were not yet announced. But Mr. Ishii felt a unified system worldwide was set to emerge sooner than later, as having two technologies - GSM in India and Europe, and CDMA in the U.S., and Korea among others was inconvenient. On the Indian market which was stagnant, the company was hopeful of a recovery this year and accordingly has targeted a 15 per cent growth. It has targeted a turnover of Rs. 700 crores this year. Of March 2001 turnover of Rs. 622 crores, nearly 20-25 per cent was contributed by imports, with the rest coming from its manufacturing facility at Dharuhera, Haryana.

He said CTVs and mini Hi-Fi range account for 70-75 per cent of its business. Sony was now more focussed on the flat CTV segment market which was expected to be three lakhs this year out of five million CTVs market. But this was projected to grow to 10 lakhs in 2-3 years, he said.

New introductions in the pipeline from Sony India this year include models of flat CTV, CD walkman range, portable audio category, compact recorders, micro Hi-Fi, car audio and HI-Fi theatre category models, he said.