Sony has been a significant player in a lot of markets that Apple is into – Mobile phones, MP3 players, computers,etc.
However, one major difference between the two companies has been that while Apple is dominant in both the hardware and software segments, Sony has largely been a hardware player.
The company has turned its attention to developing software in the past few months and while we are yet to see a Sony OS or other pieces of software to drive its machines, the company had recently launched a PlayStation Network for PlayStation customers to download games and movies on to their PSP.
The company has now announced to move forward on their online ambitions by launching a digital store on the likes of iTunes that will sell downloadable applications like music, movies and books for their mobile products. From the looks of it, the new service, tentatively called the Sony Online Service, shall be a cross between iTunes and Picasa. This means that unlike iTunes which has largely one-way traffic, the new service will let Sony customers to not only purchase and download applications, but also share their own photos and videos online. A similar service is currently offered by Nokia at their Ovi portal.
The new Sony service is likely to allow third party app developers to offer downloads to Sony's customers much like iPhone App Store in the future. While it is to be seen whether this venture will indeed become popular among Sony's customers, it nevertheless makes for an interesting offering that could as well be adopted by Apple for their customers.
Will users need such a service? What do you think?
[via Business Week]