Corporate History

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.

TR-55

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.

TV5-303

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.

CV-2000

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.

KV-1310

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.”

TPS-L2

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.

CDP-101

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.

CCD-V8

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

VAIO

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.
10月
 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.

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 —the 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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