There is little doubt that money losing product lines at Sony may be axed.
Yet, Sony drives customers away with their fixed pricing schemes, poor customer service, and most importantly, making products that customers do not want.
In their FY 2011 report, they say that they Focus areas for growth are in Imaging technology, Networking, and 3D including OLED monitors, and in emerging markets. This is where they will be spending their cash. http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/IR/financial/ar/2011/index.html
Sony is a bigger company than Canon, and has the talent, factory capabilities, R&D, and cash to sink into a venture if they see it as a money maker. Like all companies, they have to live within a budget, and when times are tough, they tighten their belt. The fact that they continue to show losses is a big concern, because stockholders want profits.
"In a bid to ease investor concerns over its deteriorating bottom line, Sony forecast it would bounce back in the current year to end-March 2013 with an operating profit of 180 billion yen ($2.2 billion)."
As far as cash in the bank. Sony had 1,.014 Trillion yen in cash at the end of FY 2011. Sony has assets of 12.9 TRILLION yen!! They are not in the poor house.
Canon, by comparison had 773 million yen in cash at the end of the year, so for a smaller company, they are in much better condition than Sony as far as cash to spend on their much smaller operations.
Bottom line, Sony is not going to be outspending Canon in Imaging R&D, but they have such fantastic production capabilities that they can churn out products at lower prices if need be. If they allowed resellers to discount products sales might just takle off.