Sony CEO Kaz Hirai told reporters this week that the company hasn’t eliminated “consideration of alternative options” for its Xperia smartphone business, should it fail to break even or turn a profit in 2016.
Reports citing poor sales – which translate into poor financial performance – go back a while now. While the company’s Xperia smartphones are quite well-regarded – especially amongst the Ausdroid crew – they’re yet to capture significant market share (17.5% in the company’s home territory of Japan, and 1% in the US, where the phones aren’t usually widely distributed).
Could the end of the line be nearing for Xperia? Not if the division can break even for 2016. “We will continue with the business as long as we are on track with the scenario of breaking even next year onwards”, Hirai added.
Sony exited the PC market for similar reasons a couple of years ago after a prolonged period of losses. For its part though, Sony says it’s on track to turn the Xperia division around and become profitable in the next fiscal year. A Sony spokesman later added that the company currently has no plans to withdraw from the mobile business.
Sony’s new Xperia Z5 series packs the biggest punch yet for the manufacturer, with a brand new camera allowing it to take the fight to with LG’s G4 and Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and an industry-first 4K mobile screen on the new Xperia Z5 Premium.
Sony has in the past has been known for its 6 month iteration cycle on its phones. Rather than bringing their phones to market early in the year in line with LG and Samsung though, Sony’s launched at the opposite end of the year two years running in Australia. That’s changed – slightly – this year, with the Xperia Z3+ and Z4 not seeing a general release here earlier in 2015.
It’s been a year since Sony’s flagship smartphone series saw a local launch, and that’s changing tonight with the Australian launch of the Xperia Z5 in. We’ll be seeing a lot more of the Xperia Z5 series as it approaches its Australian release, and we’re sure you’ll want to keep an eye on this one.
Will the Xperia Z5 be your next smartphone? Tell us in the comments!