The Sony Corporation specializes in electronics, and is based in Tokyo, Japan. Sony was founded Akio Morita under the name of Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). It changed its name to Sony Inc. in 1958.

In 1960 Sony branched off to America and Switzerland. Sony became the first Japanese company to offer shares on a United States stock market. Sony now has affiliates in North/Central/South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.

Being a leading producer of videocassette recorders, CD equipment, television systems, telephones, and computers, Sony has a large share in today's electronics market. The Walkman headset stereo system, which was introduced in 1970, was a big hit. The Sony Betamax was the first video tape recorder, but Beta was soon replaced by VHS, marketed by RCA. Later product successes include the Discman (portable CD player), and a video game console known as Playstation.

Sony is one of the first companies to produce electronics that combine modern design and reliable functionality.

Sony also has a recording studio for music artists.

TTK first trademarked the name Sony (for a transistor radio) in 1955 and made the official corporation-wide switch to Sony Corporation in 1958. The name comes from Soni-tape, a product the electronics company had been making since 1950. Akio Morita switched the last letter to 'y' for the company name because he felt that the English phrase 'sonny boy' conveyed a "youthful energy and irreverence he wanted at the heart of the company."1 The connection is more obvious when the phrase is spoken by Japanese tongues, as the "o" is spoken as a short vowel in Japan.

I doubt the company would have been near as internationally successful with the name Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo.


1. Nathan, John. Sony: The Private Life.
When Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo was looking for a romanized name to use to market themselves, they strongly considered using their initials, TTK. The primary reason they did not, is that the railway company Tokyo Kyuko was known as TKK.

Sony was chosen as a mix of the latin word sonus, which is the root of sonic and sound, and the english word sonny. At the time of the change, it was extremely odd for a Japanese company to use roman letters to spell its name, much less the phonetic script used in the Japanese writing, instead of Chinese characters.

The move was not without opposition; TTK's principle bank at the time, Mitsui, had strong feelings about the name. They pushed for a name such as Sony Electronic Industries, or Sony Teletech. Akio Morita was firm, however, as he did not want the company name tied to any particular industry. Eventually, both Chairman Bandai, and President Masaru Ibuka gave their approval.

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