Sony has a long way to go before it challenges the industry dominance of Apple's iPod, according to analysts.

According to a Reuters report, industry watchers say that even when its new portable music player goes on sale in Japan next month, Sony will struggle to gain a stronger footing in the fast-growing industry dominated by Apple.

Standard & Poor's equity analyst John Yang said: "In terms of actually attacking Apple it's only a start. I don't see any major shake down in the industry right now. I just don't see how Sony could really turn the whole thing upside down with iPod."

The comments follow a report in the Washington Post which criticized Sony's Connect music store – dubbing it an "embarrassment".