Surprising Q1 Profit for Sony – The successes of Sony’s new PS4 game console and the feature film The Amazing Spider-Man 2 helped Sony post a $261 million first-quarter profit. They also made some cost-cutting measures, including major layoffs and selling some buildings. But the company still expects to show a loss of around 50 billion yen for the year.
Panasonic Has Higher Sales and Operating Profit – in spite of lower net profit compared to last year’s first quarter. In AVC networks, Panasonic’s consumer electronics unit, sales increased 1% “due mainly to stable sales in core businesses.” Overall losses were cut almost in half “due mainly to effects of reforms in challenging businesses.”
Radio Shack Opens 21 Interactive Stores in SF – The chain described its updating of the shopping experience in 21 of its 60 San Francisco locations as “part of its commitment to reinvigorate its stores and bring innovative products to market.” The remodeled stores will include products from start-ups and inventors, such as mobile-device-controlled robot ball Sphero, LittleBits magnetic circuit boards and Lively’s activity sensors that create a smart home for older adults to log their daily routines, and an interactive speaker wall where customers can compare different speakers using music from in-store tablets, experiential displays that enable shoppers to find and compare products, technology to make shopping interesting and playful—like touchscreens and apps to help shoppers understand product benefits, full mobility offerings from AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and others, and staffers who can answer shoppers’ questions about products and services. A R.S. spokesman said that as a technology mecca, San Francisco has long been an important market for Radio Shack, so it made sense to open their first interactive remodel stores in the Bay Area.
Vizio Adds First Under-TV Speaker – The compact 2.1 Sound Stand is designed for use with TVs up to 55 inches and weighing up to 60 pounds. It has an integrated 5.25-inch subwoofer and two 2.75-inch drivers delivering 55Hz to 19kHz and 101 dB SPL. The system incorporates stereo Bluetooth, Dolby Digital surround and DTS TruSurround which processes mono, stereo and multichannel content. The DTS technology is designed to deliver a broad sweet spot, elevated sound image, dialog and bass enhancement, an expanded soundfield and accurate placement of surround sound cues. Its five inputs are stereo RCA, optical digital, coax digital, 3.5mm minijack and USB audio, which supports WAVE files on USB mass-storage devices. SRP is $249.