Now this is impressive. In fact, it's hardly believable. SanDisk
's CEO was quoted a few years ago as saying that no one could "out iPod the iPod
," and over the years, that has been proven true. Even mighty Microsoft
couldn't put a dent in the iPod's market share with the now-forgotten Zune, and one could argue that Sony never really tried.
But that's in America. Over in Japan, it's another story. Sony
has a huge, huge following in Japan, while Apple is still trying to break fully into that market. A new survey on sales from the country recently found that for the first time, Sony's Walkman has outsold the iPod in Japan. Despite the iPod having less dominance in Japan compared to North America, it was still beating Sony up until last month. But a victory like this is nothing to sneeze at.
August marked the first month of sales ever where more Walkmans were sold than iPods. Sony's overall share of the Japanese portable media player market shot up to 47.8%, pushing it ahead of Apple's 44%. That's according to Tokyo-based research company BCN Inc. BCN analyst Eiji Mori said the following: "This is the first time that the Walkman outsold the iPod in monthly sales. The result demonstrated "consumers' reluctance to buy iPods ahead of the launch of a new iPod range in the United States. Sony's strategy to market relatively affordable products may have also contributed to the turnaround in the ranking in market shares."
It's hard to tell if Sony can maintain this momentum. Is it sustainable? Apple just released a new killer iPod touch with FaceTime and a Retina Display, which Sony has nothing to match. At least there's a battle to be fought; we thought this one was long over.