Tech giant Sony may exit the smartphone segment in the coming future to be profitable once again if a statement by Kazuo Hirai, President & CEO of Sony Corporation, is any indication. Mr. Hirai revealed in a press conference recently that, “[Sony] would no longer pursue sales growth in areas such as smartphones…”
This is not surprising though as it may been as an implementation of Sony Corporation’s medium and long term corporate plans to focus on areas of businesses that are profit making, have growth potential and at the same time reduce risk and volatility. Though Sony is known to make critically acclaimed handsets through its Xperia range of smartphones, it just isn’t able to cop up with the high end phones of Apple and Samsung at one end and a range of Chinese companies in the low end smartphone market at the other. This can be attributed to failure of Sony to price its high-spec device properly. It is not so high that it could pitch itself as a premium smartphone maker yet not so low that it couldn’t compete with a host of medium range smartphones, which had flooded the segment. Sony just couldn’t come up with the right marketing and sales pitch to cope with the ever-competitive market.
Sony has already taken a few steps into winding its smartphone division down. Previously Sony had a six-month cycle of launching its flagship devices, but now that has become an annual affair and the new (and possibly the last in Xperia series) Sony Xperia Z4 is not expected to be launched at the MWC 2015 either which is in a couple of weeks from now. Also, significant job cuts in the Smartphone division have been announced if rumours are to be believed.
Though it may stop to make smartphones, Sony will still remain a significant player in the smartphone supply chain with its strength in camera lenses and digital imaging. Due to Sony’s expertise in such divisions, it is expected that the company may shift its focus to developing these areas through more R & D and gain leverage in the market.
As for Xperia, it remains to be seen that what Sony will do with it - sell it off to some other manufacturer or kill it completely from the market. All we know is, Xperia may never be the same again.