New Sony Earbuds Intended to Rival Apple Air Pods

Sony WF-1000XM3 

As a contender in the audio market, Sony has just announced some high-priced wireless earbuds meant to compete with Apple’s AirPods.

The Sony WF-1000XM3  according to Business Insider reports have significant noise-canceling technology and other new features including improved connectivity.

Customers can pre-order now, with the eventual product release coming during the month of August. The WF-1000XM3 set comes with a $230 price tag, higher than Apple buds.

As this new product announcement comes out, Sony is currently at five day, one month, six month and one year highs, with price action not seen since before Thanksgiving of last year.

At around $55, Sony is up nearly 4% over the week, and more than 10% over the month, while towering above six month lows down near $42. Some of that is probably linked to product development, as well as competitive sales and strategic market placement. That’s alongside of new reports that Sony is pumping $185 million into a plan to assist tech startups.

While Sony launched a fund in 2016, this new vehicle — which is called Innovation Growth Fund — has been set up with others. Firstly, it is being run jointly with Daiwa Capital Holdings — the VC arm of investment bank Daiwa Securities — and early LPs confirmed include Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Osaka Shoko Shinkin Bank and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company Limited,” wrote Jon Russell at TechCrunch earlier this week. “Sony isn’t saying how much has been raised so far, but it isn’t the full target yet.”

Being an “incubator” has its own advantages in a market where Silicon Valley signaling plays a large role in valuation and ultimately, in growth. Then there’s the “conceptual” power of these moves in a market where growth often comes “ex nihilo”, more through creative moves than actual discrete production.

In other words, if Sony becomes “the new music company,” that’s largely a matter of reputation driving sales rather than the other way around.

That’s all good news for a traditional sound and entertainment company that wants to beat Apple at one of its own games – the centralizing and coalescing market for music and music services.