Today, Sony Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the leading producers of audio and video electronics.
In 1946, it was a radio repair shop in a bombed-out department store. Originally known as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo KK (the Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation), the company was founded by physicists Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita.
The company got its first break in the early 1950s when it received a license from Bell Labs to build transistors. While other companies in the US focused on using the transistor for computers and military applications, the Japanese company decided to build something for the mass consumer: a pocket radio. Since they planned on marketing this radio internationally, they also needed an international name. They changed to "Sony" which was a play on "sonus," the Latin word for "sound," and the nickname for the hip young men of the day: "sonny."
After the radio, Sony built the world's first transistorized TV, and went on to manufacture VCR's, recording equipment, stereos, and computer games. In 1998, Sony had some 173,000 employees and had a net income of over $1.5 billion dollars.
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