Sony customers like different, but not too different.
The options for colors and limited-edition designs from artists helped push a lot of Vaios out the door in the last quarter. Those artsy laptops also come with higher price tags, and for that reason, don't expect Sony to get into the low-end laptop race any time soon, Abary added.
The personalization trend in PCs that Sony has latched onto has overall been successful, but for one area: the VGX TP-1 living room PC. That's not selling well at all, Abary said. "But, we didn't expect it to. It was more of an experiment in the digital home category," he added, because thus far it's still unclear how soon consumers will embrace the idea of using a PC as the centerpiece of the digital home and entertainment experience.
One thing Sony is certain of, however, is that its small business customers aren't so hot on Vista. "We see a huge demand, I mean, huge, for PCs that are downgradeable to (Windows) XP," Abary said.