In the wake of forecast increased losses, Sony also announces job cuts at mobile unit

Sony has been navigating difficult waters lately, and when you look at the legendary conglomerate’s complete portfolio of products and services, it is puzzling. Not even a generation ago, Sony was part of that short list of premium Japanese brands, the “go to” in the consumer electronics space.

Competition has been fierce however, and Sony has not been able to break through to find any clear road for many of its products, but particularly with its impressive line of Xperia Android powered smartphones, which are not getting traction in the marketplace.

A few days ago, Sony announced that it expected its losses for the fiscal year (which ends March of 2015) to widen significantly. When a forecast like that is being made with more than half the year left, it does not instill a sense of confidence.

Sony’s CEO, Kazuo Hirai, says he wants to “rebuild” the electronics unit, also says that options are dwindling. The company spun off its money losing TV unit, and sold off its personal computer business, the latter of which is a sector that is not contracting as a whole as badly as once feared. Sony has also been methodically cutting its workforce while it attempts to rally a comeback.

With the most recent earnings forecast, it is evident that the comeback efforts are struggling to say the least. Now Sony’s mobile unit will see roughly 15% of its workforce, about 1,000 jobs, cut from the ranks. On top of that, Sony also said that it would be paring back its smartphone line-up to cater to the higher-end markets.

That may seem counter-intuitive given the massive growth in mobile has been in developing markets where low prices win the customers, but Sony has been ineffective competing with the huge swath of Chinese brands which undercut not only Sony in price, but pretty much everyone else too. On the high-end, you can check out any number of our reviews, and it is plain to see that Sony knows how to make appealing devices.

Unfortunately, Sony cannot gain a bigger foothold in developed markets without the United States, where virtually none of its high-line Xperia smartphones are sold through any major wireless carriers.

Kunimasa Suzuki, head of Sony’s mobile unit, reaffirmed Sony’s commitment to the US market, “It is obvious for us that we need to keep investing into the U.S. market. Step by step, I think we will be able to grow our U.S. market share.”


source: The Wall Street Journal

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76 Comments

1. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

Poor Sony... They -actually- make good phones, too bad people don't give them enough credit.

6. pegasso

Posts: 285; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

good phones? good design, maybe. Xperia phones are known as phones with many problems here, and their After-Sales Service are among the worst. that's why their customers are decreasing...

7. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Loosing your job is not something easy. Hopefully Sony can get back on tracked so that they don't have to cut employment.

23. nanozander

Posts: 97; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

You'd need additional resources for diversity. With Sony's trek record of untimely updates and unfixed bugs in their android platform alone, I'd rather they spend more resources supporting a single platform than to split them up and end up with 2 buggy OS platforms.

21. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Yeah they do make good phones. Companies these days needs to diversify to stay relevant. I'd love to see and Xperia Z Windows edition.

32. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

dude sony wants to increase its market share ... not decrease it lol...

43. muhsen

Posts: 281; Member since: Jun 07, 2012

actually, Android is now very saturated between Samsung and chinese OEMS, increasing its market in it is almost impossible. While in WP, it's Nokia/MS/Lumia + countless tier 2 and 3 brands. Those countless non tier 1 brands with so many WP devices being released and launched will obviously inevitably propel WP market share. So making grounds in WP is not difficult for sony at all and it may get it out of the troubled waters it is in now. Also, HTC is making a come back with HTC one for windows and another phablet is coming soon ( they wouldn't make a come back in WP with their best gadget, unless they know that WP will help increase their share not ''decrease'' it as u say), so they better make a move soon to capture some share before HTC takes all of what Lumia has left. Rumors say that LG & Lenovo will be making WP devices in 2015 (their names are in the OEM WP list so that's certain), so the clock is ticking. Also, WP would help sony in a very critical area, support and updates. sony (& LG) devices are one of the worst supported devices coming from a known brand company. With WP, they wouldn't worry about updates and support since MS would handle updates directly.

47. S.M.Talha

Posts: 70; Member since: Aug 27, 2014

I think if they are really that much desperate.Then they should try partnership with nokia.Kind of making some deal with them.Maybe both of them could solve their problems a little bit.I mean helping each other.

48. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

That's actually a funny joke but the reality of the situation is different. You do realise that they are in fact decreasing when only running Android OS on mobile. Windows Phone platform keeps adding new users every quarter, it has a lot of room for growth its not as competitive WP as it is on Android at the moment that is why other OEM's are jumping on board, room for growth, for myself and many others Windows Phone is the best OS on the market, for those individuals they would want a Windows Phone not an Android Phone, that is where Sony comes into play. Every sale counts in the end its what decides whether you make a profit or have increased loss like what Sony is experiencing at the moment.

49. S.M.Talha

Posts: 70; Member since: Aug 27, 2014

When i think of "if i have to buy a windows phone which one would it be" Then then there comes only one name in my mind "Nokia". Because it is what nokia is best at.Why the hell should some one buy windows phone from other brand?

59. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Not everyone wants a Nokia Widows Phone. Choice is better.

63. Damo579

Posts: 264; Member since: May 18, 2013

I love Nokia as much as anyone else but Sony does make a good phone. Also after the 730/5 and 830 the Nokia name is gone.....

44. GoBears

Posts: 456; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

I'm on Big Red and can't even try their phones. If people can't use them Sony sure as hell isn't going to sell them.

50. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

I have no clue about Sony phones. However, this I know, they don't sell their phones to the US largest carrier. I'm sure it doesn't help.

61. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Fire Kaz Hiraz and their Marketing VP

2. arenanew

Posts: 286; Member since: Dec 30, 2013

sony will rip soon 1 - ps 4 utter flop , sony phone - poor battery . yv - outdated .

3. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

Poor battery? Wow do you even tech?

5. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Wow PS4 flop? Do you even games? PS4 outsold Xbox one since day one and held many exclusives. Haters gonna hate.

11. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Your English is utter flop.

12. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Go learn more tech knowledge dude.

15. Obie-Wan

Posts: 110; Member since: May 24, 2012

shame on you, ur mind is utter flop...

22. gundamexia450

Posts: 27; Member since: Dec 21, 2011

this dude is hating.

31. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

The sad thing is that this is the type of negative word of mouth that ends up hurting potential sales. Reviews from tech sites are now harder to believe because every site doesn't review the exact same phone so there will be variances, except of course when it comes to Apple iPhones since everyone of these sites seem to say the same thing.

65. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

And trolling. Gets some tech knowledge.

62. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

poor battery really?

76. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Don't believe that fool, he brainless...

4. keekguy

Posts: 40; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

The market is already cursed

8. DirtyDan23

Posts: 280; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

I wonder if this has something to do with the z3 being more or less the same as the z2

14. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

No, it's because they released too many overpriced mid rangers with mediocre specs and their software on their phones isn't perfect.

18. Obie-Wan

Posts: 110; Member since: May 24, 2012

So true...

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