Qualcomm scores points in promoting Snapdragon 820 chips

APACDigi Times — Qualcomm is likely to dominate the application processor market for high-end Android smartphones in the first half of 2016, powered by its Snapdragon 820 chips, according to industry sources. Qualcomm has been promoting its Snapdragon 820 chips since the second half of 2015 and has won adoption from Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Sony Mobile Communications, HTC and China-based vendors Xiaomi Technology, Vivo and LeTV, the sources indicated.


North Korea linked to Sony hack attack: researchers

North KoreaIT News — A new report into the damaging attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has uncovered a long-active hacking group that may be connected to North Korea. Security vendor Novetta, working together with Kaspersky Labs, Symantec and AlienVault, has produced an extensive report into the attack  which it said was initiated by hackers dubbed the Lazarus Group.


Sony Hackers Still Active, ‘Darkhotel’ Checks Out Of Hotel Hacking

JapanDark Reading — The epic and ugly cyberattack on Sony in 2014 may now be one for the history books, but the attackers behind it remain active and prolific. “They didn’t disappear when the dust settled” after the Sony attacks, says Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab. Guerrero-Saade and fellow researcher Jaime Blasco last week at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit in Tenerife, Spain, detailed new activity by the Sony hackers.


Sony to buy chip firm Altair to bolster its IoT business

JapanTimes of Israel — The latest multinational to take advantage of Israeli tech is Japanese conglomerate Sony – which is buying Hod Hasharon-based Altair Semiconductors, a developer of 4G (LTE) chips for devices. The deal, first reported early Thursday in Israeli business media, is said to be worth $220 million.


Sony has launched PlayStation Messages app for Android and iOS

JapanTimes of India — NEW DELHI: Sony has finally addressed the woes of its PlayStation users and rescued them from the clunky messaging service that was contained inside its PlayStation app and launched a separate messaging app. This provides dramatic improvement in the messaging service and PlayStation users can now connect to their PSN friends.


Micromax may pip Sony in India soon, revenue crosses Rs 10,000 crore in 7 years

IndiaTimes of India — KOLKATA/MUMBAI: Seven years old mobile phone maker, Micromax has crossed Rs 10,000 crore in annual revenues during year to March 2015, and is now within striking distance of one of the world’s largest consumer electronics brand Sony in the Indian market. Micromax Informatics grew sales by a whopping 47% in 2014-15 to Rs 10,450 crore, while Sony’s Indian unit grew its business 10% with revenue at Rs 11,010 crore, according to their annual return filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).


Sony and Toshiba sign definitive agreements for transfer of semiconductor fabrication facilities

JapanDigi Times — Based on the memorandum of understanding entered into between Sony and Toshiba on October 28, 2015, the parties have signed definitive agreements to transfer to Sony and to Sony Semiconductor (SCK), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony, certain Toshiba-owned semiconductor fabrication facilities, equipment and related assets in its Oita Operations facility, as well as other related equipment and assets owned by Toshiba, according to the companies.


Toshiba to sell image sensor business to Sony

JapanToshiba will sell its image sensor manufacturing plant in Oita, southern Japan, to Sony by the end of the fiscal year through March and pull out of the sensor business, the company said in a joint statement. Sony will take on the sensor business’ 1,100 workers, the two companies said. The deal was worth around 20 billion yen ($166.15 million), according to a company source familiar with the matter. The source requested anonymity because the companies did not disclose it publicly.

SKT, Ericsson, Sony to trial wearables over LTE

JapanTelecom Asia — SK Telecom will work with Ericsson and Sony Mobile to trial the use of IoT wearables over LTE networks. The trials will involve testing new device and network innovations for wearables that have consumer lifestyle and wellness applications. The devices will have multiple sensors providing accelerometer, identification, pulse meter and GPS functionality.


Sony Mobile likely to outsource wearables to Taiwan ODMs

JapanDigi Times — Sony Mobile Communications is reportedly in talks with Taiwan-based ODMs for possible production of its smart wearable devices, including smartwatches and smart bands, in addition to current production of smartphones, according to sources at local ODMs.


Asustek, Taiwan ODMs benefit from growing demand for inexpensive smartphones in Japan

JapanDigi Times  — There is increasing demand for inexpensive SIM-free smartphones in the Japan market and consequently ZenFone series models launched by Taiwan-based vendor Asustek Computer have been in booming sale and Japan-based smartphone vendors including Sony Mobile Communications, Sharp, Fujitsu and Kyocera have sought cooperation with Taiwan-based ODMs to develop and produce inexpensive SIM-free Android smartphones specifically for sale in the Japan market, according to Taiwan-based smartphone ODMs.


Sony sets 300b yen share sale price 3% below close

JapanBusiness Times — [TOKYO] Sony Corp said it expects to raise as much as 300 billion yen (S$3.3 billion) after setting a price for new common shares it is selling to raise money for boosting chipmaking capacity. The shares will be offered at 3,420.5 yen apiece to investors, the electronics maker and entertainment producer said Monday in a statement. That’s about 3 per cent less than Monday’s closing price. The company is also offering 120 billion yen in bonds due in 2022 and convertible to shares at 5,008 yen.


Sony Mobile CEO: “We will never ever sell or exit from the current mobile business.”

JapanAndroid Authority — For the better part of the current millennium, Sony has been in a perpetual state of financial turmoil. While some core businesses like gaming are safe and secure, fans need only to look at the VAIO brand to feel a twinge of pain. As far as the mobile market goes, the situation has been far less stable, with reports usually indicating a bleak future.


Sony to ‘Make in India’ via Foxconn

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: Japanese electronics giant Sony is all set to make in India, though the products will be contract-manufactured at Taiwanese maker Foxconn’s upcoming facilities in the country. Sony looks at local sourcing for the second time after it stopped the practice in 2004 when it opted to only import.


Sony Smartwatch 3, new Android Wear features

JapanGOOGLE Inc’s recent update to Android Wear to 5.1.1, which began rolling out to all smartwatches in late May, brought about a number of new features that have given the platform a bit of a boost. One of those new features is support for more than one Android Wear smartwatch, which means that you could own two (or more) Android Wear devices and both can be synchronised with your smartphone at the same time. This may seem like overkill, but since watches are also a fashion accessory, it’s not inconceivable that consumers may actually have two or more Android Wear smartwatches to use on different occasions.


Sony Mobile releases new phone in Taiwan, aims to topple Samsung

JapanThe mobile division of Japan’s Sony launched its newest Xperia Z flagship smartphone in Taiwan on Wednesday, aiming to unseat Samsung Electronics as the top vendor in the country’s high-end Android phone market. The Xperia Z3+ is an upgrade from the Xperia Z3, which was launched last September. The lighter and slimmer waterproof Z3+ features a 5.2-inch full-HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core 64 bit processor, a 20.7-megapixel main camera and up to two days of battery life.


Sony raises FY 2015 profit forecast to 300 billion yen-Nikkei

JapanTOKYO: Japanese consumer electronics firm Sony has raised its operating profit estimate for fiscal 2015 to 300 billion yen ($2.52 billion), or four times its previous estimate, the Nikkei reported on Saturday. Expectations for higher sales of display sensors used in mobile phones and the Playstation gaming console were the reason Sony raised its forecast, the Nikkei reported without citing sources. No one from Sony was available to comment.


Sony to spend $376 million to boost sensor capability

JapanTOKYO: Sony has said it would spend an extra 45 billion yen ($376 million) in the fiscal year that started this month to further boost output of imaging sensors, increasing its focus on a business that has become one of its strongest as its TV and mobile operations struggle. Sony said it plans to expand production capacity for image sensors to 87,000 wafers per month by the end of September 2016 to meet growing demand from smartphone makers, compared with current levels of around 60,000 wafers per month.


Sony buying some OnLive assets for cloud gaming services

JapanWASHINGTON: Sony Computer Entertainment is buying various assets of OnLive, including 140 US and international patents for cloud gaming services. Onlive will be shutting its operations on April 30. The company is not renewing any subscriptions, and users whose subscriptions renewed on or after March 28 will be refunded. OnLive says that the OnLive Game Service, OnLive Desktop and SL Go (Second Life) will all be available until April 30.


Sony Mobile aims to ship 38 million smartphones in FY2015, say sources

JapanSony Mobile Communications aims to ship 38 million smartphones in fiscal 2015 (April 2015-March 2016), down slightly from 39.2 million units shipped in the previous fiscal year, according to sources at Taiwan’s handset supply chain. The lower shipment target comes as the Japan-based vendor is still overhauling its handset business and has also shifted its focus to the mid-range to high-end segment, said the sources.


Spotify comes to PlayStation, replaces Sony’s Music Unlimited

JapanNEW YORK: Spotify is coming to the PlayStation, replacing Sony’s own Music Unlimited service, as the company continues to expand the game console into an entertainment hub beyond video games. Spotify hits the PlayStation 3 and 4 on Monday, with a new app adapted for large television screens. Sony says partnering with Spotify expands its music service to 41 countries, rather than the 19 available with Music Unlimited, and offers better tools for playlists and music discovery.


Sony to reduce TV and smartphone orders to Taiwan production partners

JapanIn the wake of continued slow sales of its LCD and smartphone products, Sony is expected to lower the sales ratio of low-margin products and thus will adjust its outsourcing policy, a move which will affect Taiwan-based ODM/OEM partners, including Foxconn Electronics, TPV Technology and Arima Communications, according to industry sources.


Sony Confirms Launch Of PS4, PSV In Mainland China On March 20

ChinaJapanese electronics company Sony announced that their flagship video game console PlayStation 4 and handheld gaming device PlayStation Vita will be officially available in the Chinese mainland market on March 20, 2015. Prior to this, Sony announced plans to provide the two products in China from January 11, 2015. However, due to various reasons, the debut launch was postponed. Sony also revealed that by March 8, 2015, the company had sold 20 million PlayStation 4 consoles worldwide.


The PS4 will finally launch in China on March 20

JapanSony’s next-gen gaming console, Playstation 4, has a release date in China. Again. The console, which was originally slated for release in the Middle Kingdom in early January, saw its launch postponed indefinitely for reasons that were not disclosed. Now, the device has a new China launch date: March 20.


Virgin Atlantic engineers to test Sony smart glasses, watches

JapanBritish airline Virgin Atlantic has begun an eight-week trial of Sony wearable technology within its engineering department for maintenance and repairs. The trial is being conducted at the airline’s busiest airport, London Heathrow. The aim is to ascertain how the technology can be used for “real time communication between the engineering team on the aircraft and in the engineering support areas”.


Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 prices dip below Rs 30,000

IndiaNEW DELHI: Samsung and Sony’s flagship smartphones of 2014, Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2, are now available for less than Rs 3,000 on e-commerce websites in the country. The South Korean manufacturer will launch the update to Galaxy S5 on January 1, while Xperia Z2’s successor has been in the market for nearly six months. Flipkart is selling the Galaxy S5 for Rs 28,999 (US$ 470), while Xperia Z2 can be bought for Rs 29,900 (US$ 485). On other e-commerce websites, such as Amazon and Snapdeal, the models are still priced at more than Rs 30,000.


Shu Yoshida: The man who puts Sony back on top

JapanTOKYO, Feb 23 — “How many people came for video games?” asks a keynote presenter at Sony Corp.’s PlayStation bash in Las Vegas last December. The crowd roars. “And how many came to give Shu Yoshida a hug?” The roar gets even louder.  The man in question is an unlikely celebrity. Short and bespectacled, the 50-year-old Shuhei Yoshida is president of Sony’s worldwide game studios. What he’s done to draw such affection is champion some of the biggest hits in the business and prove people will pay US$70 (RM255) for top-notch titles even in a world with thousands of free smartphone games.


Sony China To Cut Employees In Local Offices

ChinaSony (China) Ltd., which sells TVs and digital products, will implement a large-scale layoff across China that mainly targets regular employees in local offices. According to reports in Chinese local media, Sony has over 40 subsidiaries and offices in 13 regions in China, including Beijing, Chengdu, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan, and Xi’an.


Sony’s new mid-range smartphone promises more power to more people

JapanAlthough the Mobile World Congress doesn’t officially get underway until March 2, Sony has decided to unveil its first new smartphone of 2015, the affordable Xperia E4, several weeks early.  It’s all very well dazzling potential customers with specs relating to processor speeds, RAM and internal storage, but for the majority of consumers, the most important criteria when choosing a smartphone are battery life, screen size and camera quality.


HTC and other vendors to launch non-Android Wear smart devices

apac 2Although Sony Mobile Communications, LG Electronics, Motorola Mobility and Asustek Computer have launched Android Wear-based smartwatches, Samsung Electronics, HTC and some China-based makers are likely to release comparable models running on their own platforms initially, according to industry sources.