Sony Readies Products To Rival Apple: Will Others Follow?

Do you know who is currently the world's most "admired" company? According to recent reports, that would be Apple. Even though the company has less than 10% of the global PC operating system market share, Steve Jobs has managed to create a force that has permeated throughout the consumer electronics realm, and the mindshare battle is clearly being won by those at 1 Infinite Loop. But one of the biggest (if not the biggest) company in all of CE doesn't exactly like that, and they're finally fighting back.

Sony has been lagging behind in many respects for years now. They have forced people to use their proprietary formats in music and memory cards, and they have been slow to listen to consumer demands. Their design edge hasn't really dulled, as their WEGA HDTVs and VAIO notebooks are amongst the sexiest on the market. But design isn't everything, and they haven't really been competing in terms of price and features when compared to smaller startups and larger corporations who have adapted to consumer demand.

According to a new report in the Wall Street Journal, Sony is looking to take on Apple. Head to head, no holds barred. Reportedly, they will be "developing a new lineup of handheld products, including a smart phone capable of downloading and playing videogames." That's in addition to a "portable device that shares characteristics of netbooks, electronic-book readers and handheld-game machines." Sony's Dash is also an interesting take on the widget device for homes, and the Sony Online Service will also be used to deliver television content over the Web, probably to compete with iTunes.

Many of the upcoming plans are still under wraps, but one thing is for sure: companies are finally waking up and realizing the threat that is Apple. Google's Android has really put pressure on Apple to improve the iPhone OS, and now Sony is getting serious about fighting the giant as well. It's wild that Apple has managed to not only "matter" in these areas over the past half-decade, but actually lead the way. We're looking forward to some healthy competition; Apple has ruled the roost for too long in our opinion.