Though most of us think of Sony as solely an electronics company, you may be interested to know that the Japanese giant also owns large stakes in what it calls "non-core" businesses as well. These include importer-retailer Sony Plaza Co., cosmetics maker B&C Laboratories Inc., French-restaurant chain Maxim's de Paris Corp., and mail order firm Sony Family Club Inc., which were acquired long ago by late Sony founder Akio Morita. But recently, in an effort to focus on its core CE business, Sony has decided to sell sizeable stakes in these luxury markets to bring in several tens of billions of yen, and become leaner, meaner and more able to fight off competition like Apple.
Though not exactly at the top of its game recently, a surge of activity in the LCD market has given the company a second breath of life, so it will be interesting to see what this means for us as consumers in the coming year.
Sony recently pulled their QRIO and AIBO robot lines as well as their high-end electronis brand experiment, Qualia.