Sony Mobile gets merged with TV, audio and camera businesses to avoid further losses

Sony Mobile gets merged with TV, audio and camera businesses to avoid further losses
Sony announced earlier this week a “realignment of key businesses and executive appointments” effective April 1, 2019. The very short announcement also contains important information about the company's main businesses and the changes that will affect them starting next week.

In a surprising move, Sony has decided to merge three of its most profitable business with the mobile division. The Imaging Products & Solutions (IP&S), Home Entertainment & Sound (HE&S), and Mobile Communications businesses will be combined into a single entity called Electronics Products & Solutions (EP&S).

Another important piece of information is that Sony's legendary Chairman Kazuo Hirai, the person who managed one of the most surprising turnarounds in the Japanese electronics industry, will retire in June after 35 years working for the company.

Hirai passed the CEO position to Kenichiro Yoshida one year ago, and while he will retire on June 18, he will continue to provide counsel as requested by Sony's management team, acting as Senior Advisor for the company.


Kazuo Hirai is the architect of an amazing turnaround. After a $4 billion in losses, Hirai, the newly appointed CEO, cut back in smartphones and TVs and managed to make a small profit in the 2014 fiscal year.

More importantly, his bet on the gaming division paid off big time, and the same goes for the investment in images sensors, as Sony is now one of the biggest suppliers for the camera components in the smartphone industry.

By the time he stepped down from the CEO position, Sony's entertainment and imaging products businesses were more profitable than ever (and still are), but the smartphone division continues to bleed money.

Is it a good idea to hide the problem under the rug?


Reports about a possible sale of Sony's mobile division surfaced last year, probably to put more pressure on the company's current Chairman, Kenichiro Yoshida. Today's announcement puts an end to these rumors but questions the decision to hide the problem under the rug.

After a fourth straight unprofitable quarter, it looks like Sony is determined to hide the losses of the mobile division behind a conglomerate of profitable businesses. In case you're wondering why Sony is still betting on smartphones, the Japanese company said that 5G is the kind of technology that might turn things around for the better.

How is going to do that, it remains to be seen. The bottom line is we will probably see less red numbers in Sony's revenue reports each quarter since the profits of the other three businesses are more than enough to hide the mobile division's losses.

What the official statement doesn't cover is whether or not this “realignment” means layoffs among the mobile division's staff or this is just an administrative reorganization. Sony laid off 200 employees in Europe back in December to cut costs across a number of mobile business areas, and a few days ago, the Japanese company confirmed plans to close an entire smartphone factory in China.

With the smartphone factory closed, we might see less Xperia smartphones on the market, although if things go unexpectedly well, Sony can always use third-party manufacturers to supplement stock in case it needs to.

It's quite clear that Sony Mobile isn't what it once was, but if the Japanese company thinks that this is how it can save its smartphone business, we're all for it.

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9 Comments

1. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2451; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Maybe it’s time to partner with another struggling manufacturer to produce something good for once. Back in the early days, Sony teamed up with HTC to produce the beautiful Xperia X1. It’s time for partnerships to happen. HTC, Sony, and LG need each other.

3. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Question is; Do we 'really' need Sony around? I think we have to let it go... But of course, I'm mostly an unsentimental person so... Anyhow, I think Lenovo should also acquire Sony, transform it into a premium sub-brand and start using Motorola branding on cheaper models and call it a day. Or perhaps start rolling out phones with "Sonorola" or 'Motony' brandings? How about TCL? There's always room for a 'Sonyberry', eh? Okay, I think I'm getting a bit crazy here so; G'Day!

4. User123456789

Posts: 1012; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Lenovo cant even keep Motorola decent ... Since they bought from Google, Motorola only gets worse. Moto G series became too generic like small brands like Ulephone, Dodgee etc ...

7. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1085; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Unlike Motorola, Sony didn't move to solely Phone manufacturing so yes we still need SONY around. If anything we may not need them in the phone market or at least not in the Flagship market. They should use their mobile division with their Playstation division and compete with Razer in the Gaming phone market

8. tahnik

Posts: 201; Member since: Jul 17, 2011

"Question is; Do we 'really' need Sony around? I think we have to let it go..." Have you ever looked at their camera, TV or PlayStation?

2. flakko

Posts: 7; Member since: Dec 21, 2017

This could also mean than all three of Sony's most profitable divisions can now share tech with the phones like the pro camera division is doing with the Xperia 1. IF they bring back the headphone jack, it could mean a nice walkman dac/amp in future Sony phones.

5. Cat97

Posts: 1933; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

They will avoid further losses when they will have a smarter management which doesn't take all the wrong decisions.

6. unmaskedfalesh

Posts: 29; Member since: May 18, 2014

gee, why do they go in loss? let me guess, by taking stupid decisions and making some really ugly looking devices? While others are following market trends, Sony doesn't even bother to consider them. 2020 and Sony closes mobile division, it would not surprise me. and i am surprised to think i was a loyal Sony mobile user from Xperia Z days...

9. mayur007

Posts: 593; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

If they stop overpricing there product, provide quality product like camera quality, screen quality and durable product then they will succeed. But I do miss Sony's Walkman series Like w550i

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