Sony considers spinning off or selling its smartphone operations

Sony considers spinning off or selling its smartphone operations
It's all about the bottom line, and at Sony it appears that smartphones aren't exactly bringing in massive profits. In fact, the company expects to lose money in 2015 on a net basis for the sixth time out of the last seven years. Company CEO Kazuo Hirai says that his focus for the next three years will be on PlayStation and camera sensors. Doing this will increase operating profit by 2500% over that period, claims the executive. And that means that smartphones and televisions could be the odd-men out at the Japanese manufacturer.

Tough competition from low cost smartphone manufacturers in China and from market leaders like Apple and Samsung, have forced Sony to abandon any hope of growing the business. Hirai said that he would not "rule out considering an exit strategy" for mobile phones and televisions. That strategy could include spinning off the businesses as a new company, or finding a buyer for them.

In October 2011, Ericsson announced that it would sell its share of the Sony Ericsson partnership to Sony. The company appeared to hit pay dirt at CES 2013 with the water resistant Sony Xperia Z. For a short period, Sony was churning out a new flagship model every six months in order to make sure that its top-of-the-line handsets were continuously equipped with the latest specs. While phone buyers were pleased by this strategy, it proved to be very costly for Sony. Hirai says that Sony will no longer look for sales growth from its smartphone business which could lead the company to produce fewer models. "The strategy starting from the next business year will be about generating profit and investing for growth," said the executive.

source: Reuters

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94 Comments

1. redmd

Posts: 1937; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I think they need to lower the prices of their mid-rangers.

6. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

To little, to late! Another one bites the dust! Apple wins!

26. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

And Apple fans lose.

36. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Apple wins? Have you seen the global smartphone share?? Beside, an Android OEM's threat is another Android OEM.

49. MySchizoBuddy

Posts: 159; Member since: Aug 23, 2011

Apple makes 93% of all mobile profits. Samsung makes 9% rest are all negative. Marketshare is court jester Profit is King.

62. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So you'll be happy when Android is gone and the only choice is Apple? You do realize that would be one of the worst things for consumers right? No competition leads to slower rate of innovation because they only have to try and sell you a newer device, not compete with another company. It also leads to higher costs for consumers, because if there's no competition, what reason is there to keep prices competitive? Itse either their way or the highway.

37. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Apple wins consumers lose, what you kids dont realize is that as soon as there are only a few OEM's left, prices will once again rise. Competition is healthy. I dont care Apple, Google, Microsoft as much as I care about my pocket.

65. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2206; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Liveitup...do you realize that their are over 100 OEM Android manufacturer's. As a result of losing Sony do you really think that prices will rise? *Shaking head*

67. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

He's saying that once there are only a few OEMS left, because you can't run on little to no profit forever, that prices will increase because there is less competition. See post 62.

52. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

You're assuming they'll jump OSs and go with Apple. Plenty of Windows PC vendors have gone away, did all their customers switch to Mac?

40. dimas

Posts: 3367; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

They should have ditched their E M C series and just focus on the Z line. Just look at Apple, only one model per year except with iPhone 6. Boring for some but gets no confusion. People remember the brand very easily because they don't clutter the market.

55. GalaxyS5

Posts: 430; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

reconsider the pricing in general plus make a ui change plus stop the 6 month flagship thing not to mention the under-performing camera. I mean these things made me easily pick a GS5 over a Z2 last year. man it costed 200$ more than the GS5 and the Z3 was already around the corner. now a Z2 is 150$ cheaper than a GS5. what the? as an android fan in love with premium android oems (Samsung/HTC/Sony) this is terrible. this will propel cheap china to the top even more and cheapen android. wherever you go on websites a samsung priced at 90$ is considered expensive by cheap heads who say, buy chingaranga xiawawa notara it haz octa corez for 100$ ...

75. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

That's not the problem ever smart phones is over 600$. They need to FOCUS ON U.S. MARKET which is the largest consumer with mobile phones and THEY ARE NOT CONCENTRATING enough. i be very upset if they sell their mobile division I don't buy any other brand but SONY next to Motorola.

106. g2a5b0e unregistered

Wrong. China is largest smartphone market. The U.S. is second, but India is fast approaching for that spot. Do some research rather than just making stuff up.

110. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Who needs mid-rangers when you have last-year flagships... I got the Z3C but I will get the Z1C for my wife... instead of some crappy midrange device. The Z1C is about $320

2. hboy857

Posts: 367; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

Team up with Nokia.

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

So they can finally get their cameras to work properly?

11. hboy857

Posts: 367; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

Their camera works just fine.Their cameras are one of the best. It's just that the user have to invest their time to learn Sony's cameras quirk. When they get used to the quirk they can take great pic even with their usually unreliable auto mode. Z3 is the 4th ranking smartphone in the Dxomark mobile ranking. So yeah, I'll say their camera works more than properly, their camera works great.

16. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Comment #10 says otherwise. And like many phones out there (Note 4), why can't it work out of the box?

22. hboy857

Posts: 367; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

It work out of the box just fine like many phones out there. People can say whatever they want but if you want to see real capabilities of the camera you go to dxomark and in the dxomark mobile ranking Sony has 3 smartphone in the top 10.

25. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Except waiting forever for updates, slow charging times, not as many accessories offered, and poor auto-mode results from the camera. Still no match for the 808, 1020 or 1520. Nowhere near close.

30. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Sony horrible botched their whole smartphone advantage. Horrible release/distribution strategy with stupid exclusives and limited quantities. Updates are just another bullet on that list along with several retarded issues. Finally when they got their act together this year and even posted a profit I believe, they are thinking about selling it off....idiots.

54. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Actually last week I was able to compare my Z3C in Superior Auto to a Galaxy S5 in auto mode on low light (the galaxy was using 16MP) and flash was off for both. I posted the pictures here:http://talk.sonymobile.com/t5/Xperia-Z3-Compact/From-Galaxy-S5-to-Sony-z3-Compact/m-p/944231#U944231 the second comparison was using Zoom on both units up until the image was at about the same size... Please tell me which one looks better to you. I think the Galaxy is only better in broad daylight, but I have tested iPhone 6, S5, S5 mini, S4, S4 Mini, iPhone 5s and the Z3 Compact gives better results on most situation, (except daylight which they all give very similar results). Low Light are critical for smartphones cameras and it shows truly which ones are best. Sony exceedes here. NOTE: Nokia's top dogs are actually the best but I haven't seen them around here, so it's hard to compare to them if they are absent.

95. iushnt

Posts: 3105; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Try with note 4

111. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

The Note would probably win, but my point is that all the bashing to Sony's cameras is done without actually taking the time to test it... And I am yet to see a YouTube comparisson being made, taking advantage of Scene selection in Manual instead of simply using Auto just because "most people will". If you are going to compare cameras, you should compare its full potential, it is not Sony's fault that Apple only offers an Auto mode (an excellent one, but Auto still), so why should people limit comparissons to Auto only?.

23. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

Sony is allways the last in photographers hands ...http://smartcam.club/node/3225

27. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

According to the link, the Honor 6 did better than the Z3. Ouch.

32. hboy857

Posts: 367; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

So you're not going to trust the result from the site which literally took thousands of pics for analysis but you're going to trust a site's result which took a few photos to come up with the result. OK, cool.

39. usermaxthon

Posts: 70; Member since: Jan 20, 2015

You're wasting your time arguing with idiots who hardly have any tech knowledge and they will argue (read troll) for the sake of argument (trolling) with their half ass knowledge.BTW, I think it will be really sad day in the mobile world if Sony really sell their devision. I always prefer HTC but I think Sony makes very compling phones with great design.

42. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

Did you heard about dpreview.com ??? I think they know their jobs very well too. The same as Mark from smartcam. Who donĀ“t know tech knowledge ???

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