Sony will never sell or exit the smartphone business, says head of Sony Mobile

Sony will never sell or exit the smartphone business, says head of Sony Mobile
In a recent interview for Arabian Business, Hiroki Totoki, the CEO and President of Sony Mobile, made the somewhat surprising affirmation that Sony “will never ever sell or exit from the current mobile business”.

As many Sony fans already know, recent rumors suggested that the company is looking to sell its smartphone business, a train of thought that the Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai seemed to entertain a Reuters report quoted him back in February claiming that he would not "rule out considering an exit strategy". 

Although these two declarations may seem contradictory, we should bear in mind that the Sony CEO did not openly refer to the possibility of a sale -- even Reuters admitted that Sony made ambiguous, unclear statements regarding the company's plans for the mobile division. On the other hand, the CEO of Sony Mobile directly addressed the issue in his recent interview.

According to Totoki, speculation on Sony's plans for an exit from the smartphone market was largely based on the fact that Sony Mobile recorded a huge loss in 2014. Apparently, this loss was a write-down of the money that the Sony Mobile invested to buy back Ericsson's share back in 2012, and not a problem with the actual cash flow.

Furthermore, Totoki believes that speculation also arose from the fact that Sony had previously sold its PC-manufacturing business, Vaio. However, it looks like the smartphone market is much more important to Sony as a company. Totoki says that smartphones are now an interconnected part of the modern life, which is why the company is still looking to remain a player in the smartphone market despite "severe" competition.

Speaking in regard the areas that are most important in the overall smartphone experience, the head of Sony Mobile said that customers place a lot of emphasis on the camera, the screen, and the audio quality, all areas where Sony is looking to improve by looking into new technologies. However, it's the quality products that Sony's image sensor business is capable of delivering that Totoki is pointing out as being an example of "craftsmanship in technology".

The head of Sony Mobile says that the complete restructuring of the company will be complete by 2015, and that he has hopes of maximising profitability and raising profit levels by the end 2016.

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25 Comments

1. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

good to hear that! more competition is good for us consumers!

9. KParks23

Posts: 725; Member since: Oct 13, 2010

Yeah i feel like they are right there with a little more effort and marketing they should be doing pretty good, but the minor update thing should be stopped and the same phone across multiple carriers would be nice the z3v was a nice phone but there are like zero accessories for it.

21. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Good job Sony!! Now impress us with your tech.

26. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

They should hire the Apple Watch marketing team. They can sell a low end smartwatch for a price of a house.

2. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Pulling out a minor update like the Z3+ while competing with an amazing beast called S6 and G4. You are beyond pathetic Sony and I will not care if you go out of business even tonight like 99% of the phone lovers.

6. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Funny how much you bash Samsung and some other Android OEMs when you compare them to Apple, but when it comes to Sony, Nokia and HTC, you end up praising Samsung and the other OEMS you were bashing.

28. cheetah2k

Posts: 2256; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Pulling out a minor update because the Qualcomm 810 was an utter failure.. Even the LG G4 lags like crap because the 808 is still throttled.. I can see that Sony was the bunny caught in the headlights when all this Qualcomm crap went down. If you don't like it, don't buy it - its that simple!!!!

3. Bm888

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

I miss the old good giant Ericsson :( ^Bm ™

11. dimas

Posts: 3363; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

They don't need to make phones anymore. They're already getting paid for technology patents used by apple and android manufacturers. Even if sony closes mobile division, they're still gonna make billions out of their camera sensors.

19. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Hello Arte.

4. hellbread

Posts: 309; Member since: Nov 21, 2014

Go go Sony!

5. Arthurhkt

Posts: 723; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Not to say I am a Sony hater, but my experience tell me that most of the time when all representatives denied all those claim end up selling it.

7. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Sony and HTC are walking a similar path. Both new flagship devices use SD810, both overheat, both flagships attracting poor sales, both flagships minor updates compared to previous years/ previous model. Both phones demanding premium prices that are above what their phones are worth.... Maybe they should merge...........

8. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

That must be reassuring for current Sony users.

10. ashrafalhujaili

Posts: 73; Member since: Oct 03, 2014

he is in denial

12. mochachino

Posts: 20; Member since: Feb 18, 2015

It would be a foolish if they did. Eventually the phone in you pocket will replace the computer in your office and house. Power is just about there, then on it's just a screen and keyboard/interface connection away. 90% of people use computers for some variation of MS office and the internet 99% of the time.

13. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

Sorry haters but we are here to stay... FOREVER!!! Now we need to see something GROUNDBREAKING from you Sony! Something like your Sony a7R2.

14. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

They must sell cheaper devices then....

16. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Maybe they should make a good phone that's readily available.

17. anleoflippy

Posts: 596; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

Good for you Sony. Now go and improve.

20. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

Yeah like the TV part or the laptop part. Or should i mention PS3 it's by far the biggest failure i know they made.

22. aba71983

Posts: 807; Member since: Jul 24, 2014

I'm in love in my Apple iPhone and iPad and it always be. But if Sony Xperia phone make a better phone like the Z3 Compact as they said maybe I will buy one. They can follow the Z3 spec, features without suffering the 2 days battery life. Or they can improve more and make it 3 days. And don't release every 6 months because people don't enjoy their phone.

23. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Way to go Sony!

25. TBomb

Posts: 1484; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I read this as "Sell or Excite the Smartphone...." I was like that is not something you want to hear from the CEO lol

29. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Sony pulling a John Cena, Never Give Up!! :D

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