Sony CEO Hirai says it will continue making smartphones, but not to compete with Apple or Samsung

Just because Sony CEO Kaz Hirai expects the company to report its largest ever operating profit this year (equivalent to $5.83 billion USD) doesn't mean that the company has fixed everything that has prevented it from rivaling Apple and Samsung in the smartphone business. In fact, the executive has a less than convincing answer to those who think that Sony should just give up when it comes to connected handsets.

Hirai says that Sony isn't sticking with smartphones because the product is the future of tech. He says that Sony needs to continue to sell the product in order to stay in the communications sector, from where it can monitor what is going on in the industry until the next paradigm shift. The executive says that continuing to sell handsets has nothing to do with today's smartphones, but has everything to do with remaining a leader in communications.

Sony does remain a major supplier of image sensors for other smartphone brands. Hirai drew a laugh by talking about Sony supplying "little companies" in Cupertino, South Korea and China when he was talking about Apple, Samsung/LG and Huawei, respectively. While this business has done well for Sony, its own Xperia brand has trouble gaining any traction in the U.S.

Not that it will make a huge difference, but Sony's U.S. handsets now feature a fingerprint scanner. While the company never explained why its biometric readers were disabled in the states, there is talk that the company had a deal with a stateside carrier that fell through. In order to extricate itself from the partnership with this carrier, Sony promised not to ship phones with a working fingerprint scanner to the U.S. for a certain period of time. Again, that is just speculation.

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Sony continues to churn out handsets year after year, not looking to compete with the big boys, but just to bide its time waiting, as its CEO states, for the next big thing.

source: TheGuardian

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