It seems that in Japan, there is a myth that has been spread for over 20 years, that Sony has a built in ‘kill switch’ that activates when the warranty expires. The myth was further enhanced when Sony had to recall millions of laptop batteries that added fuel to the fire. To the people of Japan this confirmed the ‘kill switch’ myth, which Sony strongly denies.
But it gets better. In a recent article it states that:
Their campaign clearly isn’t going that well: the phrase has now become so common that Sony products are often avoided in Japan due to a genuine belief that they just don’t last. The Playstation 3 still remains highly popular as it is allegedly exempt from the timers’ curse, but VAIO laptops, particularly among younger Japanese, are purchased with some hesitation.
Many people believe Sony products last just long enough for the company to bring out a replacement generation. Rumors have even emerged recently that the timers are controlled remotely by the company and set off just when a new laptop is due out. Google searches in Japan add fuel to this fire with VAIO laptop breakages increasing around a year after their release. In fact a google search on the subject will return more than half a million Japanese related hits.
I never heard of this myth until I read about it this morning. I would seriously doubt that there is any truth in this fable. I am sure we have all heard about a ‘kill switch’ built into American cars as well. None of these rumors have ever proved to be true.