Sony isn’t going anywhere. That’s what Sony Mobile wants to tell everyone who’s listen, despite the rumours going around that Sony may cut ties with the mobile industry in future.
Sony has publicly acknowledged that its mobile business is struggling. Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai recently noted that the company’s performance in the year ahead (2016) would drive Sony’s decision on what to do with the Sony Mobile business, calling it a “make or break” year. If numbers don’t improve, Hirai said, Sony may need to reconsider its mobile business going forward. It’s not uncharted territory; Sony has already reviewed and dispensed with some of its poor performing business units, including its computer business. While Sony is finding continued success in gaming and photography (particularly in its image sensors), the same isn’t true in all areas, and Sony Mobile is certainly not doing as well as it could.
The limited release of its Xperia Z4 phone to Japanese markets only might be a sign that Sony Mobile is being a little more cautious going forward, and perhaps not without reason; figures show that Sony Mobile device ownership in Japan is around the 17.5% mark, and its less than 1% in North America.
More recently, Sony Mobile’s CEO Hiroki Totoki has moved to quell rumours that these ‘alternative options’ might include winding up the Mobile business altogether, stating quite clearly that bowing out of the business is not one of the alternatives to be considered. Sony Mobile has big plans; they want to capture 30% of the market in Taiwan and they’re doing it aggressively, with market-specific products and tie-ins with local celebrities.
We, like many, hope that Sony Mobile can turn its fortunes and return to success, and there’s indication that the Xperia Z5 line could help with that, though with some initial hiccups, the signs aren’t all positive, but they’re mostly there.
Sony Mobile is expected to take a US $480m loss this year, which is an increase from the $320m predicted earlier this year in April.