Speaking to The Verge, Sony has explained that from April 1 it will be instigating a unilateral pricing policy across the US, one which will limit the minimum price any retailer can charge for its products. The prices will be kept equal across its website and big-name stores, too, keeping things even across the country.
It's a model that works: Apple has a similar policy, for instance. Sony Electronics President Phil Molyneux explains:
"The market here is very focused on volume, and there is a push to promote products not necessarily for the value of the product, or the service, or the content, but more on a 'here's a special offer this week, how about this Mr. or Mrs. Consumer?', and I think we all got caught up in that a bit."
It will certainly distance Sony from the "race to the bottom" -- but that only works if people desperately want to own your product. Fortunately, the company is planning to pare down its range to focus on its best products.
Whether that's enough for Sony to succeed, I'm unsure. I hope it is -- I have a soft spot for the company, fostered by a family obsession with the brand when I was a child -- but we'll have to wait and see whether a focus on premium can really pay off. [The Verge]