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Almost seventy years as one of the world’s leading electronics manufacturers has made Sony a brand that’s known across the globe. While everyone’s no-doubt heard of Walkman® and PlayStation®, we’ve compiled a collection of common questions and fun facts that you probably won’t know about our world!

Where did Sony get its name?


Sony wasn’t always called Sony – when the company started it had the catchy name “Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo”. Finding that Americans were struggling to pronounce it, co-founder Akio Morita chose the name Sony as a mix of two words. These were the Latin word ‘Sonus’ which is the root of sonic and sound, and ‘Sonny’ which was a common American term in the 50’s for a boy. The company name officially changed in 1958.

What was Sony’s first product?

Sony Rice Cooker

Way before founding Sony, Masaru Ibuka’s (later Sony co-founder) first step into the world of consumer electronics was an electronic rice cooker. You may be wondering why you’ve never seen this in the market. Unfortunately that’s because the device consistently either undercooked or overcooked rice. It seems the ability to cook rice was an important factor in a rice cooker and so the product failed to be a commercial success…

What’s with the guinea pig?

Sony Guinea Pig

Somewhere in Sony City in Tokyo sits a golden guinea pig looking pretty pleased with himself. The figurine was a gift from employees to co-founder Ibuka and became a symbol for the company, after an article claimed that Sony was a “guinea pig for transistors and other big companies were besting them”. The challenge that this quote laid down drove the founders to come up with new innovations and birthed an indomitable spirit – one that remains a characteristic of our company to this day.

What’s a Chorocco and how can I get one?

Also known as ‘The Record Rider’ and ‘Sound Wagon’, this cute little van drives around vinyl records and plays them through its in-built speaker. The gadget was seen as encapsulating the inventive genius and charm behind many of Sony’s products. Unfortunately, for anyone looking to get their hands on a Chorocco, the little van never went on general retail and was only created as a promotional device to inspire creativity within the company.

Why 10:35?

Now the big question – why does every Xperia smartphone or tabletC4 Front Embed you ever see show the time 10:35? What’s the hidden meaning behind these cryptic numbers?

Many insist the letters are a coded prediction for the end of the world while others say it’s just the most convenient time for product photo shoots.

Obviously the truth is much more profound considering that 10 is the chemical element for Neon while 35 is Bromine and you can add all the numbers together to make 9 which in Greek mythology refers to the nine muses. 35 was the retired shirt number of Basketball player Kevin Durant and it’s well known that in music the interval of a major tenth is an octave plus a major third…

We really needn’t say any more to explain the great mystery behind 10:35 and we hope you’ve enjoyed these five fun facts about Sony!

Anthony Devenish

PR Manager

Wearables, software and digital PR geek. Northerner (trying not to be a hipster) in London.