When you think Sony, the first thing that pops to mind are its line of electronic gadgets. According to The New York Times' Hiroko Tabuchi, Sony "loses money on almost every gadget it sells." The real bread and butter of the company? Selling insurance.
Although Sony sells hundreds of products as varied as batteries and head-mounted 3-D displays, it so happens that Sonys most successful business is selling insurance. While it doesnt run this business in the United States or Europe, Sony makes a lot of money writing life, auto and medical policies in Japan.
Its financial arm accounts for 63 percent of Sonys total operating profit last year. Life insurance has been its biggest moneymaker over the last decade, earning the company 933 billion yen ($9.07 billion) in operating profit in the 10 years that ended in March.
Sonys film and music divisions, which produced hits like the Spider-Man movies and Zero Dark Thirty and recorded musicians like the cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the electronic music duo Daft Punk, have contributed $7 billion to the companys bottom line over the last decade.
In that time, Sonys electronics division has lost a cumulative $8.5 billion.
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