Sony CEO Hirai says it will continue making smartphones, but not to compete with Apple or Samsung32
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.
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.