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Once at the leading edge of consumer electronics, Sony Corp. is now more lumbering giant than trend-setter after falling behind competitors such as Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc.Sony underestimated the industry's switch to flat-panel TVs from CRT, or cathode-ray tubes.Last year, Sony split off the TV division as a wholly owned entity.Sony might be finally ready to cash in on the investment.Although smartphones have eroded Sony's Cyber-shot digital camera business, Sony is now wooing professional and upscale amateur photographers.Sony also acquired a 20 percent stake in medical equipment maker Olympus Corp. in 2012, to develop endoscopes and other surgical tools packed with Sony technology, such as three-dimensional imaging and 4K. Sony has only two major rivals in the game-machine business: Nintendo Co. and Microsoft Corp.In 1995, Sony acquired Hollywood studio Columbia Pictures for $3.4 billion, which was widely criticized as overpriced.In 2009, Howard Stringer, then Sony chief, scoffed at a reporter's question about whether Sony planned to produce material by Michael Jackson, a Sony artist who died that year, using 3-D technology.Last year, Sony ended maintenance services for Aibo.
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