Sony to challenge Apple with video service: report

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp will launch a new music and video download service linking a range of its devices, in a challenge to Apple Inc’s dominant position in the market, the Financial Times said on Wednesday.

The announcement is set to be made at the IFA technology show in Berlin on Wednesday, the paper said, coinciding with a scheduled media event by Apple the same day in the United States.

The service will work across various internet-connected devices, such as Walkman music players, Vaio computers, Bravia TVs, Blu-ray players and Sony Ericsson mobile phones but will not be available to consumers until next year, the paper said.

Sony’s Welsh-born president, Howard Stringer, has struggled to develop hit products and services that take advantage of the conglomerate’s rich portfolio of music and film.

The company launched a video-on-demand service in the United States, dubbed Qriocity, this year.

But Sony has so far failed to gain ground on Apple in the download market. Apple is expected to unveil a revamped iPod at its media event on Wednesday, although speculation is also simmering it will make an announcement about its own TV project, Apple TV.

A spokeswoman for Sony declined to comment. Shares in Sony were flat at 2,367 yen on Wednesday.

Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Edwina Gibbs