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The Sony timer is a Japanesemarker urban legend. The legend suggests that the Sony Corporation installs a device in its electronics products which causes them to fail soon after their warranty expires, an (illegal) form of planned obsolescence.

The authenticity of this legend has never been proven. Google returns a large number of search results in relation to the "Sony timer". Many of these pages are spoofs on Sony's recent poor manufacturing debacles, but some of these sites take the concept very seriously.

Searching for the phrase " Sony Free Replacement" (in Japanese) shows the number of faulty products Sony has released in Japan, thus spurring customers to imagine the existence of a "Sony Timer".

While it is unlikely that Sony is explicitly adding expiration devices to their hardware, the "Sony Timer" has also been taken to mean that Sony manufactures devices to withstand just enough use for Sony to produce a new line of the device. This claim is far more difficult to dispute, and may even have some merit.

At the annual shareholders meeting held in June 21 2007 in Japan, the president Ryoji Chubachi said that he knew the word "Sony Timer".

External links

  • Sony Timer Database-


  1. ソニー、定時株主総会を開催。「利益を伴う成長へ」 「ソニータイマーという言葉は認識している」中鉢社長 (in Japanese), 2007-06-21, AV watch

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