Sony Exec On Music Players: Steve Jobs Was There First

The International Herald Tribune has published a story about Sonyis struggles in the modern world that include some interesting comments about Apple. The article focuses on the nuts and bolts of Sonyis financials, but starts off by looking at how Apple now dominates a market segment that Sony started and dominated for more than two decades, portable music players. It is in that context that comments from Howard Stringer, vice chairman of Sony, is quoted as saying that Apple -- or Apple CEO Steve Jobs, to be more specific -- beat Sony to the punch. From the article:

Almost two and a half years after Apple Computer unveiled its iPod music player, Sony announced its first iPod competitor, called the Vaio pocket, this month. The delay - and a yearlong lag in starting the Connect online music service after Appleis iTunes Music Store set up shop - reflects how hard it is for the 58-year-old electronics behemoth to adjust to new rivals.

Howard Stringer, 62, Sonyis vice chairman and head of the companyis U.S. divisions, says executives were so concerned about music piracy that they couldnit agree with designers on the kind of player to create.

"We didnit get there, and by that time, Steve Jobs was there," said Stringer, referring to Appleis CEO.

In April, Apple reported that second-quarter profit had tripled from a year earlier to $46 million, after it sold 807,000 iPods.

There is much more about Sony in the full article.