Sony’s Bread and Butter Is Not Electronics

Americans know Sony as a consumer electronics company that makes PlayStation game consoles and television sets. Surprisingly, it loses money on every gadget it sells. In fact, Sony’s electronics business is its Achilles’ heel and considered worth nothing. The maker of the Walkman without electronics? What would it do? In reality, it would do what it does best: sell insurance. The bulk of Sony’s revenue comes from writing life, auto and medical policies in Japan, which accounts for 63% of it’s total operating profit. Life insurance has been its biggest moneymaker over the last decade, earning the company $9.7 billion. In that time, Sony’s electronics division has lost a cumulative $8.5 billion — hardly Sony’s crown jewels. That’s because when it comes to televisions and smartphones, competition is intense, and Sony remains a bit player. Even where it’s more successful — in digital cameras and game consoles — it’s still struggling to stay afloat. There are those within Sony's framework who are seeking to off-load the electronics business and focus solely on insurance. Time will tell who wins out.