Sony might stop making phones

Sony might stop making phones
Sony has a new chief executive officer that replaces long-term CEO Kaz Hirai and a new CEO also means a new plan for the company's future, a plan that might include a move away from consumer gadgets. And yes, while nobody at Sony admits that, this might well mean that the company is stepping away from making not only phones, but other consumer gadgets as well, including the popular Playstation and Sony cameras.

While we hope this does not happen, new Sony chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida unveiled a new three-year plan for the company on Tuesday and the focus of that plan was on services and other core areas of Sony profitability. And nope, there was no mention of consumer gadgets, let alone phones in that presentation.

So here is a big pre-emptive statement: we really hope that we are reading too much into this and Sony keeps on making phones, but here are a few reasons why it actually makes sense for the company to turn away from gadgets and into services.

The key word is focus. Sony makes most of the camera sensors for the camera and cameraphone industries, and it's making billions from that business.

In stark contrast, the Sony mobile phone business has been rapidly shrinking. The company still has a strong brand name and great recognition among customers, but it only sold around 10 million phones in 2018, down from 22.5 million in the past year, and Sony just can't find a foothold outside of Asia. And then turning to the popular Playstation 4, even sales of the console have gone down 18% in the most recent quarter and executives admit that the PS4 is approaching the end of its lifecycle. The PS4 is still a great business for Sony because of gaming revenues, streaming and so on, but the console itself is not the only revenue driver.

Okay, we doubt that Sony would just pull the plug on the Playstation series (we don't rule this out, though), but it would be much easier for the company to stop making phones.

And we sincerely hope it doesn't. The latest Sony phones - the Xperia XZ2 and the XZ2 Compact - are the company's best and show that Sony is improving. Yes, the company still needs to step up its game and match others with a truly bezel-less design and so on, but in order to do that and actually have a chance to compete, it has to stay in the game.

source: Bloomberg

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63 Comments

1. AronWunarso

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

Their phones are just too expensive. Specs, design, camera, etc is perfect.

18. sgodsell

Posts: 7241; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Where is the XZ2 premium? I am waiting for that one. They are the only ones that make a 4k smartphone. Some Cardboard and other apps take advantage of their amazing displays. The thing is Sony makes camera modules for many OEMs including Apple, Samsung, LG, and many more. They even make displays for a number of OEMs as well. The thing is their is a number of other OEMs constantly growing and pushing their way into the markets. It isn't like there is a lack of competition in the Android space.

22. TheOneSilveriusXZP

Posts: 64; Member since: Jul 01, 2017

XZ2 Premium according to Sony , will launched around this Summer for global launch (Around June-July) , except for Japan Market itself , August 2018 .Few markets has been scrapped for XZ2 Premium to came by Sony itself such as Ireland and UK .

64. yann

Posts: 613; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

Why it is possible SONY to step out of making phones? I own XZ Premium. What I like: Great display; Great position for FPS. Best of all for me; Nice design. I like "squarish" phones; Excellent user interface; Great music experience; What I do not like: Too wide size to be comfortable to operate; Plastic frame; Not good enough camera especially in low light; Not optimized camera interface; Bezels can be reduced at least a bit; FF speakers can be louder; Battery capacity can be extended for such big phone; So what the did in XZ2: Size: improved, but uncomfortable and even impossible to operate, when the phone is put on the table. Metal frame, but with ridge between the glass back and metal fame, something like Z5 Premium; Camera is better, but far away from Samsung, Apple, even Huawei; Bezels top and bottom are useless. Aesthetically can be reduced a little; FF speakers are improved, but just a bit; Battery is improved to say enough. BUT REMOVED HEADPHONE JACK; FPS IS ON MOST INCONVENIENT AND UNCOMFORTABLE POSITION EVER ON A PHONE! WTF SONY? How to buy new XZ2? HEAVY AND FAT PHONE! DO YOU HAVE DESIGNERS? DO THEY RALLY USE THEIR OWN PRODUCTS? Obviously not, cause if they used it, they will never created that way.

59. civicsr2cool

Posts: 267; Member since: Oct 19, 2016

You know how I can tell you have never owned a Sony phone? You say the camera is perfect lol

2. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

They should sell their mobile division but as for playstation, just why? Will microsoft then monopolize on the xbox?

4. dazed1

Posts: 794; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

Finaly, they realized they are total failure, good job.

6. worldpeace

Posts: 3129; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Took them long enough

5. libra89

Posts: 2272; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Noo I hope that they don't. They are the only people who make smaller/compact phones. I'm always open to trying them and they do seem to improve... Samsung has shown that they can choose to care but they don't anymore. The only follow-up to the compact A3 is the tall A6. :/

7. CEDEOTB

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

They're too stubborn like HTC to give people what they want in a phone.

9. Cat97

Posts: 1865; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

When you put measly 3200 mAh batteries in 11mm-thick phones like the Z2, you deserve the failure.

23. Feanor

Posts: 1346; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

The XZ2 is in all tests a battery life champion and as an owner I can confirm that it's battery life is really great, so your comment is wrong.

11. Zomer

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2013

"Okay, we doubt that Sony would just pull the plug on the Playstation series (we don't rule this out, though), but it would be much easier for the company to stop making phones." Hahahahahahha, we don't rule this out. Sorry, but that has to be one of the funniest thing I ever read.

63. Xtraflossy

Posts: 31; Member since: Mar 13, 2018

I thought that as well. I TOTALLY rule that out.

12. blac.inc

Posts: 59; Member since: May 16, 2018

I highly doubt they will stop making PlayStations, since we will pretty much be left with just the Xbox.

14. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Smartphone division is what keep their brand strong even if not sell well. If they left smartphone the brand recognition will suffer greatly.

49. midan

Posts: 2749; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Haha are you serious? I don't know anyone who have Sony phone. It's the Playstation which keeps their brand strong If they leave from smartphone business hardly no-one will miss them.

15. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3101; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Playstation is their bread and butter. I doubt they will do anything about it.

17. admin_user

Posts: 33; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

In dumb capitalism only profits rule. So in some years we only will have the "choice" between ugly Samsung and overpriced iPhones.

20. admin_user

Posts: 33; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

... and that´s why all those MBAs are a problem and not the solutions for problems. Btw. On xperiablog it sounds completely different - STOP trolling users for clicks.

21. Tipus

Posts: 856; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

What a load of crap, sony would never pull plug on playstation

27. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Bezeless = s**tty front camera like XZ2, S9, Iphone X, U11+ and Pixel 2 Bwzeless = speakers beside usb, worst place possible Thanks PA

28. mootu

Posts: 1503; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

They wont pull the plug on Playstation, it's massively profitable, especially the services part. Plus in the last few days code has turned up that they have been working with AMD's Ryzen and that can only mean APU's for the PS5.

29. TheOneSilveriusXZP

Posts: 64; Member since: Jul 01, 2017

Well , don't blame the last-existence of some minority smartphones users though , if in next few years , you're complaining the monopoly in Smartphones Markets that only filled by either Samsung , Xiaomi or Apple and feels it doesn't like the old days ....

31. Aircrackng

Posts: 56; Member since: Jan 09, 2015

I think Sony should have went the route Razer did creating gaming phones, they are big players in the gaming market and I think this would have built up their presence and would have brought them into a unique market... Ofcourse their current phone design would have to change currently it's quite bland and unrecognizable... They should really tap into creating luxury gaming smartphones that you can identify through their unique looks. There is so much Sony could do... They already have a good brand name and identity why refuse to use it? I know plenty of people wanting a smartphone with flagship specs and a built in controller... The concept would be a PSP like smartphone... It's so obvious yet it hasn't been done I don't even understand it... The Xperia play didnt count because it's hardware was never flagship and it's controls were awful it's like shooting themselves in the foot creating a bad representation. I think it would be a harness win if they took it seriously and went all in with it.

66. MechaBouncer

Posts: 6; Member since: May 23, 2018

I'm in agreement that Sony really should have made a proper PlayStation phone. The Xperia Play was a great concept, but horrible implementation. The specs were outdated before it came out and there weren't many games that supported gamepads at that time because Android didn't have a unified gamepad API until the it came out. Plus Sony didn't support it at all pulling all the ported PS1 games from it after people figured out how copy and sideload them as well as how to use the bundled emulator with other PS1 games. Plus they didn't want to cannibalize sales of the PS Vita that released at the same time. Having owned an Xperia Play, I can say that the gamepad was the best part of the device. The track pads did suck, but the physical buttons were rock solid and the directional pad was superior to that on the PSP and capable of easily pulling off complex movements for fighting game special moves. I have yet to find a third-party gamepad with a d-pad anywhere near as good in all the years since. The only one that comes close is using an actual Dualshock 4 paired to the phone. If that kind of gamepad were even on modern midrange hardware like that in the Xperia X, it would be a force to be reckoned with, let alone anything with a Snapdragon 8xx series chip. All these "gaming" phones seem to ignore the biggest thing that gamers want: physical controls. Touch screens suck. I want real buttons. Sony could leverage that and the PlayStation brand as a whole to much greater effect on their phones.

32. jove39

Posts: 2145; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Just make 2 phones with flagship specs and no Sony bloat (ui/apps). 1. Big screen 6.25” 2. Medium screen 5.5”

33. Sparkxster

Posts: 1214; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

I doubt Sony will stop making phones they said they are going to focus on making high end flagship phones. PlayStation isn't going anywhere either it's the best selling console with the highest installed base right now.

39. Loubielou

Posts: 603; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Sony seem very good indeed with there cameras on there phones,but Why?does every Sony phone look the same,with too much Bezels at the Top or Bottom,Why?couldn"t they Trim the Bezels down so people got more Screen vision on there phones and also remove there name on the Bezels like Samsung have,but they will not,so losing out like the others are

42. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

I actually loved the XZ Premium even if I never had a chance to have it, only thing its missing is their negligence to have bezelless screen and dual cameras, apart from that I see nothing wrong with the phone at all.

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