Monday, March 14, 2011

Sony Chairman Sir Howard Stringer Outlines Business Strategy for Middle East

Modern Electronics Hosts Sony Chairman to Mark 40 Years of Partnership

Dubai-UAE/Riyadh-Saudi Arabia: 14 March, 2011 – Sony Corporation recently celebrated 40 years of presence in the Middle East at a dazzling event in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, along with the strategic partners in Saudi Arabia, Modern Electronics Company Limited (MECL).
The event, a tribute to Sony’s technological leadership in the region, was attended by His  Royal Highness Prince Mohammed Khalid Al Faisal, President and CEO of the Al Faisaliah Group, and Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President, Sony Corporation, as well as other dignitaries.
The first Sony showroom, which was opened in Jeddah in 1970 through a partnership between Sony Corporation and Al Faisaliah Group’s Modern Electronics Company Limited, set the pace for Sony’s expansion in the Middle East. Today, the Sony brand has a footprint in over 40 countries across the Middle East and Africa region through 170 exclusive outlets, 250 service centres, 23 exclusive distributors and four representative offices.
Highlighting the significance of the partnership with the Al Faisaliah Group, Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President, Sony Corporation, said: “Our four-decade long presence in the region has been made possible by credible and successful partnerships at the local level and the creation of many ground-breaking technologies and innovative products at the global level.
“It is an interesting time in the consumer electronics industry and for Sony in particular as we link content services and hardware and integrate them across all our devices for the first time in our history.  We are digitally connected from the lens to the living room and this will give us the size and advantage. We are looking forward this year to many changes and a stable of new products and services.”

Sony’s roadmap for 2011 covers innovative new networked products and services and exciting additions to its 3D consumer offering, delivering the ultimate entertainment experience. This year, Sony will embrace the next phase of its 3D strategy to make 3D more personal, enabling consumers to shoot their own 3D content on an extensive range of devices including the new 3D Handycam, HDR-TD10, Cyber-shot digital still cameras and the Alpha NEX series of compact cameras featuring interchangeable lenses.
Sony’s new BRAVIA HDTV line-up once again redefines the television category for consumers, delivering new sets that actively engage viewers by building on its broad line of innovative 3D and Internet-connected TVs. The 2011 BRAVIA LCD HDTV line includes 11 new 3D-capable models. In all, BRAVIA boasts 27 new models in the 2011 line.
On content development, Sony Music is currently working with MBC on the largest Arab talent show in the Middle East - ‘Arabs Got Talent,’ which features participants from all across the Arab world. Sony Pictures Television Arabia, which targets all major broadcast groups in the region, was set-up in September 2010 with three offices in Dubai, Beirut and Cairo and specialises in scripted and unscripted content development for the region. Sony Pictures Television Arabia is currently adapting the ‘Dr. Oz’ format for Arabic audiences with MBC.
Connectivity and network capabilities will also be a big trend in 2011 and Sony’s product offerings will feature an extensive line-up of network-enabled devices capable of integrating across various platforms, devices, and applications. The PlayStation Network, which has over one million users in the Middle East region, will be at the forefront of network services as and when broadband services in the region increase. Users will be able to play games online and download content through the network. The newly introduced BRAVIA Internet Video (BIV) is also being promoted through showrooms in the Middle East.
Speaking on network and connectivity, Sir Stringer said, “The future looks very promising with broadband availability and the opportunities it will provide. As an entertainment/electronics company, we are fully functional and connected across all forms of devices and can deliver content anywhere where there is broadband.”
Sony is set to introduce an extensive line-up of devices with groundbreaking features and approachable pricing in its Digital Imaging business, which will make it easy for consumers to get DSLR-quality still images, high quality Full HD video, and stunning 3D photos. Furthermore, many of Sony’s digital imaging devices will be network compatible and, through Sony’s network services, will allow consumers to easily upload and share their images and video with their family and friends.

About make.believe
“make.believe” (make dot believe) is a Group-wide brand message that unites Sony’s communications initiatives across electronics, games, movies, music, mobile phones and network services. “make.believe” symbolizes the spirit of Sony – the power of creativity, the ability to turn ideas into reality and the belief that anything you can imagine, you can make real.
About Sony Gulf
Sony Gulf FZE is a 100% subsidiary of Sony Corporation and is the regional headquarters for the Middle East and Africa regions. The company is engaged in the business of Sony Consumer Electronics, VAIO laptop computers, Computer Peripherals, Data media, Recording Media and Energy (Batteries), Mobile Electronics (Car Audio) and Computer Entertainment (PlayStation) products in more than 40 countries in the region.
Apart from stock operations in the Jebel Ali Free Zone Establishment in Dubai, Sony Gulf FZE leads execution of various logistics, sales, marketing, advertising and customer services activities through its business partners and representative offices. A network of representative offices in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan, in addition to well over 250 accredited third party service centres reinforces Sony’s presence in key markets in the region.
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