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What's "Sony Timer"? That Appears on Internet so Frequently Nowadays

9, 01. 2006

   The apparently coined weird phrase "Sony timer" started appearing frequently on the internet after the batteries manufactured by Sony Corp. for laptop computers were found to be faulty and were recalled. Rumor has it that Sony products always go wrong after their use for a certain period of time as if they had inbuilt timers that had been set to cause troubles after use for a certain period of time. Setting aide the question of whether or not the rumor is founded in some truth, sarcastically expressed opinions are noticed in some postings on the internet bulletins to the effect that "the timers newly put out by Sony are everywhere."

   On August 15, the biggest U.S. computer maker Dell Inc. began recalling laptops that had Sony-made batteries because it was found that the batteries might cause fire. An article attributed to Sony and appeared on the Asahi Shimbun newspaper on the same day said:

"Tiny metal fragments were mixed into the batteries in the process of manufacturing, and if they are connected to the charging system of the computers, they would in effect cause short-circuit inside the batteries and, in some cases, might heat up and cause fire."

They Say, "Sony Products Are Hit!"

Why people talks about the coined phrase
Why people talks about the coined phrase "Sony timer."

   About 4.1 million laptops were recalled. It was the largest recall in history involving information home appliances. And people are saying, "Sony timer again?"

    It is true many massages are posted on the bulletin boards of the internet, Sony products have the built-in "timer." On the bulletin boards that deal with specially with Sony products, there are many threads start with the "Sony timer" as the main theme. Some examples of messages posted in such threads are:

"I've got the Net MD Walkman MZ-N910 manufactured in 2003. It's dead rather than heavily injured. It was hit (went wrong) one year after I bought it. Even the same type of MD radio cassette made in China works fine. But the Sony-made was quickly down."
"In my case, it's AIBO that died. My buying of the AIBO proves that I am not an anti-Sony. But I couldn't dream of even the AIBO was planted with the timer. Well, since the AIBO is a dog, it may be more appropriate to say "Sony virus" rather than the "Sony timer."
"DVD player broke after using for one year and four days. As the warranty issued by XX electric store stated only the month of the purchase, it was fixed free of charge. I was impressed by the high quality of the Sony timer and the slackness of the XX electric store.

   The rate of troubles that occur in Sony products was not calculated to compare with that of the products of other manufacturers. It is thus not clear if the "Sony timer" itself is a right concept. But, it might be said that the talks about such a "legend" shows by itself that the people are feeling to some extent the unreliability of Sony products.

Sony: "Products have never been designed to go wrong."

   In fact, it was rumored at one time that "Sony timer" is a real thing.

    In February, Sony announced that the two types of television in the projection-type "E series" (put on the market in October 2005) of the "Bravia" with thin screens would cause the trouble. The trouble was that they could not be turned off after certain amount of accumulated viewing time (about 1,200 hours). If the cited televisions are used for three hours a day, it would take just about one year, which is the warranty period, to reach the accumulated period of time of 1,200 hours. This raised the rumor that the "Sony timer" is a real thing.

    Inquired by J-Cast, a person at the Sony Television Reception Center said of the announcement:

"The troubles were found during the test, and it is utterly wrong to say that the 'televisions were designed to go wrong'."

   About the existence of the "Sony timer," he said:

"We know that some people are say such words 'privately'. But our products are never designed in such a way."

   Concerning the faulty televisions, measures have been taken to correct the software that caused the trouble by using the terrestrial digital-BS digital broadcasting waves.

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