Sony timer

El “Sony timer” is a Japanese urban legend. The urban legend states that all Sony products are equipped with an internal device called “Sony Timer”, this device controls how long your gadgets is gonna work without breaking. Sony prepares the “Sony timer” so it will be activated just after the warranty expires. This way, you will buy a new, and “better” Sony product. There are people who even thinks that the Sony timer can be remote controlled so the Sony people can deactivate your new Walkman whenever they want. Playstations don’t have “Sony timer” because they need to sell games.

This urban legend surged in Japan just after the 90s ended, a decade where Sony launched lots of imperfect products, that failed, that broke and so on. People got fed up and the legend if you search with google there are more than half a million results. Sony has a very bad reputation in Japan, and it seems this bad reputation is spreading all around the world.

I’m sure the people who “invented” the Sony timer urban legend were very proud when Sony powered laptops started to explode :). Picture from Softpedia

A joke from the manga “Azumanga Daioh” inspired by the Sony Timer. Right says: “Believe in Sony!”, Left says: “Don’t believe in Sony…” . Picture from Gen Kanai

13 Replies to “Sony timer”

  1. Hi Kirai,

    The picture of the laptop, I think it is a worldwide known picture of a explode Dell laptop, although they use Sony batteries,

    just as the one I have 8^(


  2. LOL! I never heard this urban legend before but it’s really funny – especially with the photo of the laptop on fire.

  3. Wow thats interesting, I have never heard about this urban legend at all. Since the 4 television in my house are all SONY, maybe they will start exploding together all at one go.

  4. Well, I can’t say I agree with the ‘timer’ because I am a bit of a Sony freak and I don’t think I own any electrical gadget (Walkman, phone, PS3, Hi-Fi, TV, camera etc) that isn’t Sony..

    I guess I replace them anyway just to try and ‘keep up to date’ with newer models but so far not a single one has stopped working.. I kinda keep them all in perfect condition as well so when it comes to replacing I have the option to Ebay them :-p

  5. maybe one idea is “Sony Timer” concept is deployed by many companies, not just Japanese consumer electronics, the marketing people call this “built in product obscelence” or “BPO” :0)

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