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Corporate History


   1950 -  |  1960 -  |  1970 -  |  1980 -  |  1990 -  |  2000 -

Establishment

1946

  • May

    Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K. (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation), also known as Totsuko, established in Nihonbashi, Tokyo with start-up capital of 190,000 yen for the research and manufacture of telecommunications and measuring equipment.




1947

  • Jan

    Company head office and factory relocated to Shinagawa, Tokyo.


  • Oct

    Successful commercialization and sales launch of Sony's “power megaphone.”




1949

  • Sep

    Completion of first magnetic tape recorder prototype.



1950 -

1950

  • Mar

    Japan's first magnetite-coated, paper-based recording tape, “Soni-Tape,” launched.


  • May

    Japan's first magnetic tape recorder, the G-Type, order launched.




1954

  • May

    Sendai plant established in Tagajo, near Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. (in April 1992 it was renamed Sendai Technology Center.)


  • Jul

    Announcement of Japan's first PNP alloy-type transistor and germanium diode.




1955

  • Feb

    Decision made to use SONY logo on Totsuko products.


  • Aug

    Totsuko listed on the OTC (over-the-counter) market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).


  • Sep

    Japan's first transistor radio, the TR-55, launched.




1958

  • Jan

    Company name changed to Sony Corporation.


  • Dec

    Sony listed on the TSE.




1959

  • Jun

    Formal announcement of research results leading to the negative-resistance “Esaki Diode” prototype.



1960 -

1960

  • Feb

    Sony Corporation of America (SONAM) established in the United States.


  • May

    World's first direct-view portable TV, the TV8-301, launched.


  • Nov

    Atsugi plant established in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture (renamed Atsugi Technology Center in August 1989).


  • Dec

    Sony Overseas S.A. established near Zurich, Switzerland.




1961

  • Mar

    Japan's first all-transistor amp tape recorder,TC-777, launched.


  • Jun

    Sony became the first Japanese company to offer shares in the United States in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) on the OTC market of the New York Stock Exchange.




1962

  • May

    The world's smallest and lightest all-transistor TV, TV5-303, launched.


  • Nov

    Sony Corporation of Hong Kong Ltd. established.




1963

  • Jul

    World's first compact transistor VTR, the PV-100, launched.




1964

  • Aug

    Sales launch of the “Sony-O-Matic” TC-357, a tape recorder featuring automatic recording adjustment.


  • Sep

    Osaki plant established in Shinagawa, Tokyo (renamed Osaki West Technology Center in June 1995).




1965

  • May

    Sales launch of the Chromatron-type 19-inch color TV, 19C-70.


  • Aug

    World's first home-use open-reel VTR, the CV-2000, launched.


  • Oct

    Japan's first all-silicon transistor stereo amplifier, the TA-1120, launched.




1966

  • Apr

    Sony Building in Ginza, Tokyo, opened.


  • Nov

    Sales launch of Sony's first cassette tape recorder, the “Magazine-matic 100” TC-100.




1967

  • Mar

    Sales launch of the world's first IC radio, the ICR-100.




1968

  • Mar

    CBS/Sony Records Inc., a 50-50 joint venture with CBS Inc. of the US, established. It was renamed CBS Sony Inc. in August 1973 and CBS/Sony Group Inc. in August 1983. It became a wholly-owned Sony subsidiary in January 1988, and renamed Sony Music Entertainment Inc. in April 1991.


  • May

    Sony (U.K.) Ltd. Established in the United Kingdom (reorganized as Sony United Kingdom Ltd. In April 1993).


  • Oct

    “Trinitron” color TV, the KV-1310, launched.




1969

  • Sep

    Shibaura plant established in Minato, Tokyo (renamed Shibaura Technology Center in August 1989).


  • Nov

    Sony Shiroishi Semiconductor Inc. established to assemble semiconductor products (in Shiroishi, Miyagi Prefecture).


  • Dec

    Inazawa Plant (currently Inazawa Technology Center) established to produce cathode-ray tubes (in Inazawa, Aichi Prefecture).



1970 -

1970

  • May

    Ichinomiya Plant (currently Ichinomiya Technology Center) established to assemble color TVs (in Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture).


  • Jun

    Sony G.m.b.H. established in Cologne, Germany (renamed Sony Deutschland G.m.b.H in June 1980).


  • Sep

    Sony shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange.




1971

  • Oct

    3/4-inch u-matic color video cassette player, the VP-1100, launched.




1972

  • Mar

    U-matic video cassette recorder, VO-1700, launched.


  • Aug

    Operations commenced at color TV assembly plant in San Diego, California.


  • Dec

    Sony Koda Inc. (currently Koda Technology Center) established to manufacture home-video products (in Kota-cho, Aichi Prefecture).




1973

  • Jan

    Hispano Sony established in Barcelona, Spain.


  • Feb

    Sony France S.A. established in Paris, France


  • May

    Sony receives the first Emmy ever awarded to a Japanese company for developing the Trinitron color TV system.




1974

  • Jun

    Operations commenced at color TV assembly plant in Bridgend, Wales, in the U.K.


  • Aug

    Operations commenced at cathode ray tube (CRT) plant in San Diego, the first ever integrated color TV production facility to be established by a Japanese company overseas.




1975

  • May

    Home-use 1/2-inch “Betamax” VCR, the SL-6300, launched.




1979

  • Jul

    Sales launch of the TPS-L2, the first stereo cassette player “Walkman.”


  • Aug

    Sony Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd., a 50-50 joint venture with Prudential Insurance Co. of America, established. It was renamed Sony Pruco Life Insurance Co. Ltd. in September 1987 and Sony Life Insurance Co. Ltd. in April 1991.



1980 -

1981

  • Aug

    Technology announcement related to Sony's magnetic video camera based the “Mavica” magnetic recording standard.




1982

  • Oct

    World's first CD player, the CDP-101, launched.


  • Nov

    Initial delivery to NHK of the “Betacam” BVW-1, a 1/2-inch-tape combined camera/VTR for broadcast use.




1983

  • Apr

    New “division-based” corporate organization model introduced.




1984

  • Apr

    High definition video system (HDVS) launched.


  • Nov

    Portable CD player (later called “Discman”), the D-50, launched.




1985

  • Jan

    8mm camcorder, the CCD-V8, launched.




1986

  • Nov

    Sony Europe G.m.b.H. established in Cologne, Germany. Operations commenced at Sony France audio and video products assembly and device plant in Colmar, Alsace, France.




1988

  • Jan

    CBS Records Inc., the records group of CBS, acquired. It was renamed Sony Music Entertainment Inc. in January 1991.


  • Sep

    Launch of the consumer-use still camera, “Mavica” MVC-C1.




1989

  • Jun

    Compact and lightweight passport-sized 8mm camcorder, “Handycam” CCD-TR55, launched.


  • Nov

    Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc. acquired. It was renamed Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. in August 1991.



1990 -

1990

  • Dec

    Launch of the HD-equipped, 16:9 wide aspect ratio, 36-inch consumer-use television, the KW-3600HD.




1992

  • Nov

    MD system launched.




1993

  • Jul

    World's first continuous-wave room-temperature operation of blue semiconductor lasers successfully developed.


  • Nov

    Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. established.




1994

  • Apr

    New company structure introduced at Sony Corporation.


  • Jul

    World's first high-brightness, green light-emitting diode successfully developed.




1995

  • Sep

    “Digital Handycam”, first consumer-use digital video camcorder DCR-VX1000/DCR-VX700,launched.


  • Nov

    Sony Communication Network Corporation established.


  • Dec

    Basic specifications of new industry format for high-density optical disc finalized, including new format name, “DVD.”




1996

  • Oct

    Sony China established.


  • Oct

    Sales launch of the digital still camera “Cybershot” DSC-F1.




1997

  • Apr

    Sony Marketing Co., Ltd. Established.


  • May

    Development of “Digital Reality Creation,” technology to create highly-realistic 4x picture resolution based on standard television signals, using Sony's exclusive digital signal processing algorithm.


  • Jun

    Introduction of Corporate Executive Officer System.


  • Jul

    Home-use PC “VAIO” series launched


  • Jul

    Flat CRT “WEGA” series launched


  • Oct

    Sales launch of the world's first broadcast-use HD camcorder, HDW-700.




1999

  • May

    Sales launch of Super Audio CD players, SCD-1.


  • Jun

    Sales launch of the entertainment robot “AIBO” ERS-110.



2000 -

2000

  • Jun

    Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz Berlin opened.


  • Nov

    Small Biped Entertainment Robot SDR-3X announced.


  • Dec

    Sales launch of the personal IT television “Airboard” IDT-LF1.




2001

  • Feb

    Sony develops world's largest (13 inch) full color organic EL display.


  • Apr

    Sony Bank established in Japan.


  • Apr

    Sony EMCS established.


  • Oct

    Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications established.




2002

  • Oct

    Sony absorbs AIWA by merger.


  • Nov

    Sales launch of the “CoCoon” channel server CSV-E77.




2003

  • Apr

    Sales launch of the world's first next-generation high capacity optical disc “Blu-ray Disc” recorder BDZ-S77.


  • Jun

    First “QUALIA” products launched.


  • Jun

    Corporate shift to “committee-based” organizational model.


  • Oct

    “SDR,” a compact bipedal entertainment robot, began activity as Sony group's “corporate ambassador,” under the new nickname “QRIO.”




2004

  • Jan

    FeliCa Networks, Inc. established.


  • Apr

    Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) becomes wholly owned subsidiary via exchange of shares.


  • Apr

    Sony Financial Holdings Inc. established.


  • May

    Sony develops new 4K SXRD high-resolution LCD panel, the industry's first LCD device to meet advanced digital cinema DCI-recommended specifications of 4K (4906H x 2160V) setting the global standard for digital cinema projectors.


  • Aug

    Sony BMG Music Entertainment established.


  • Sep

    Development and commercial production of world's first mercury-free button-shaped silver-oxide battery.


  • Oct

    Sales launch of HDR-FX1, the world's first consumer use digital HD video camera recorder conforming to HDV standard 1080i.




2005

  • Apr

    Consortium, including Sony, completes acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) of the US.


  • Jul

    Sales launch of the “Hi Definition Handycam” HDR-HC1, the world's smallest digital HD video camera recorder.


  • Sep

    Sales launch of new “BRAVIA” brand HDTV-compatible flat-screen TVs.


  • Oct

    New organizational model introduced, replacing “internal companies” system with one centering on “business groups.”


  • Dec

    Sony Communication Network Corporation delists as a subsidiary tracking stock. Sony Communication Network Corporation (renamed So-net Entertainment Corporation in Oct. 2006, So-net Corporation in Jul. 2013) listed on the Mothers Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.




2006

  • Jan

    World's-first signal-processing circuit technology compatible with "xvYCC" format developed---supporting a far wider gamut for color reproduction.


  • Apr

    Sony and Samsung reach agreement on manufacturing 8th generation amorphous TFT LCD panels at their joint venture, S-LCD Corporation.


  • Jun

    World's first Blu-ray Disc drive Notebook PC (VAIO typeA) released.


  • Jul

    Digital SLR camera α100 (DSLR-A100) released.




2007

  • Feb

    Sony relocates headquarters to new building called "Sony City."


  • Aug

    "Bio Battery" which generates electricity from glucose developed.


  • Spt

    Sound Entertainment Player "Rolly" released.


  • Oct

    Sony Financial Holdings lists on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.


  • Dec

    Sony establishes in-house recycling of flame-retardant polystyrene.


  • Dec

    World's first OLED TV released.




2008

  • Jan

    So-net Entertainment (renamed So-net Corporation in Jul. 2013) lists on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.


  • Jan

    Sony develops new close proximity wireless transfer technology "Transfer Jet."


  • Apr

    Sony releases world's smallest full HD " Handycam" HDR-TG1.


  • Jul

    Sony releases new "BRAVIA" JE1 series (KDL-32JE1), featuring industry's highest level of energy efficiency for 32-inch digital LCD TVs.


  • Oct

    Sony BMG becomes wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.


  • Oct

    Sony releases digital SLR Camera "α900" with 24.81 effective megapixel CMOS image sensor "Exmor"




2009

  • Feb

    Compact, high-speed, high-accuracy finger vein authentication technology dubbed "mofiria," developed


  • Feb

    HDR-XR520V and HDR-500V Handycam---World's first camcorder with new back-illuminated CMOS image sensor --- released


  • Apr

    Sony DADC Japan Inc. established


  • Jul

    Sharp and Sony enter into definitive agreement regarding joint venture to produce and sell large-sized LCD panels and modules


  • Sep

    Sony Group unveils new brand message "make.believe"


  • Oct

    High frame-rate single lens 3D camera technology, developed


  • Oct

    Highly-efficient wireless power-transfer system based on magnetic resonance, developed


  • Oct

    Mercury-free alkaline button battery (LR) that reduces environmental impact, launched


  • Dec

    Sony and FIFA announce agreement for selected media rights for the world's first 3D FIFA World Cup




2010

  • Jan

    Sony opens “Sony 3D Technology Center,” located at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.


  • Feb

    Sony introduces Cyber-shot™, the world's first digital still camera with full HD progressive video.


  • Feb

    Sony develops world's first millimeter-wave wireless intra-connection technology for internal high speed data transfer within electronics products.


  • Jun

    As an official partner of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, Sony hosts "Sony 3D World" events in several countries where visitors are able to experience Sony's 3D World.


  • Jun

    Sony launches “NEX series”, the world's smallest and lightest interchangeable lens digital still camera series.


  • Jul

    Tohoku University and Sony jointly develop the world's first blue-violet ultrafast pulsed semiconductor laser with 100 watt output.


  • Sep

    Sony introduces the world's first consumer interchangeable lens HD camcorder Handycam NEX-VG10E.


  • Oct

    Sony commercializes world's first 16.41 megapixel "Exmor R" back-illuminated CMOS image sensor for mobile phones.


  • Oct

    Sony introduces Sony Internet TV, powered by Google TV —he world's first television with Google TV platform.


  • Dec

    Sony introduces e-book reader.


  • Dec

    Sony launches new digital music service---"Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity™"






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