Sony CEO Stringer: Jobs "Smarter" with iPod/iTunes

Sony Chief Executive Officer Howard Stringer said in an interview broadcast Sunday that his company has made huge mistakes in the online music and player business and that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been a thorn in the Japanese electronics makers side.

In an interview for CBSi 60 Minutes, Mr. Stringer said "there is no question that the (Apple) iPod was a wake-up call for Sony. And the answer is that Steve Jobs was smarter at software than we are."

Mr. Stringer admitted Sony has spent too much time worried about its record division and made it too difficult for consumers to buy and copy music. "We tried to have a secure device and that was a myth and a mistake," he commented.

Mr. Stringer tried to defend his company against its mistakes in the portable music player market by saying, "you can take (the) iPod and beat us over the head with it, but itis only one product and we have thousands of products. Apple has two or three."

On Thursday, Mr. Stringer told a keynote crowd at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that Sony is trying to streamline its business to make it leaner, meaner and more competitive with the likes of Apple and others.

"We have analyzed our product lines and reorganized our corporate structure to become more nimble and better able to deliver champion products," he said. He highlighted several new products the company will soon ship, from a new, music-playing Walkman cellphone to a high definition projector for movie theaters.

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