Sony's savior: Will it be a hybrid phone/video game player?

Tokyo-based Sony (SNE) is considering developing a hybrid mobile device: part mobile phone, part video game player, according to the Nikkei Business Daily. The possibility, which would clearly be a move to compete with Apple's iPhone, flies in the face of the company's dogged insistence against creating "me-too" products. But Apple (AAPL) has had enormous success in developing its iPhone and then turning it into a portable gaming device -- and these days, Sony needs as much help as it can get.

During the 1980s and 1990s, it was Sony that reigned supreme in consumer electronics. The company developed new, innovative products such as its Trinitron television sets and Walkman portable music players.