Sony Bets on Online Push

As Sony Corp. (SNE) scrambles to reassert its technological relevance, Chief Executive Howard Stringer is betting on a strategy for the electronics giant that focuses on adding online content to more of its gadgets.

Speaking at the first joint public appearance by Sony’s new management team since a shake-up in February, Mr. Stringer said the Japanese giant is “moving faster than we’ve ever moved” to meet parallel challenges.

Sony is racing to close the gap with technology companies like Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Inc. (AMZN) that have used Internet services to enhance standalone electronics like digital-music players and electronic-book readers. Sony was a pioneer in both only to see it early advantage evaporate without a strong online component.

At the same time, Sony is trying to overhaul its core electronics division, a business encumbered by heavy overhead costs and an inefficient supply chain. This has put the company at a disadvantage to both conglomerates like Samsung Electronics Co. and upstarts like discount TV maker Vizio Inc.

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