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Sony Corporation (ソニー株式会社 Sonī Kabushiki-gaisha?) is one of the world's largest media conglomerates founded in Tokyo, Japan. One of its divisions Sony Electronics is one of the leading manufacturers of electronics, video, communications, and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets.
Sony Corporation is the parent company of the Sony Group and is engaged in business through its six operating segments - electronics, music, games, pictures, financial services and other. These make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony's principal U.S. businesses include Sony Electronics Inc., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., and a 50% interest in Sony BMG Music Entertainment, the second-largest record company in the world.
Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $67 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005, and it employs 151,400 people worldwide. Sony's consolidated sales in the U.S. for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005 were $18.4 billion. As a semiconductor maker, Sony is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders.
In 1945, after World War II, Masaru Ibuka started a radio repair shop in a bombed-out building in Tokyo. The next year he was joined by his colleague Akio Morita, and they founded a company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K., which translates in English to Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation. The company built Japan's first tape recorder called the Type-G.
In the early 1950s, Ibuka traveled in the United States and heard about Bell Labs' invention of the transistor. He convinced Bell to license the transistor technology to his Japanese company (this is a testament both to Ibuka's persistence and Bell's openness to sharing information so soon after the war). While most American companies were researching the transistor for its military applications, Ibuka looked to apply it to communications. While the American companies Regency and Texas Instruments built transistor radios first, it was Ibuka's company that made the first commercially successful transistor radios.
In August 1955, Sony produced its first coat-pocket sized transistor radio they registered as the TR-55 model. In 1956, Sony reportedly manufactured about 40,000 of its Model TR-72 box-like portable transistor radios and exported the model to North America, the Netherlands and Germany.
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