Sony wants to 'transform' its smartphone business by neglecting a huge part of the world

Sony wants to 'transform' its smartphone business by neglecting a huge part of the world
After laying off hundreds of European employees, shutting down a major Chinese factory, shipping an all-time low number of devices during the first three months of the year, and reportedly preparing another massive round of firings, Sony's mobile business is essentially hanging by a thread

In fact, the Japanese tech and entertainment giant's smartphone division has gotten so small and unprofitable in recent years that a new Electronics Products & Solutions department was created, combining Xperias with the Home Entertainment & Sound and Imaging Products & Solutions businesses. Still, Sony remains committed to "transforming" its smartphone business rather than killing it altogether, as detailed in its mid-term corporate strategy (via Xperia Blog.)


Unfortunately, this transformation will see the company improve its mobile focus in just a handful of key global markets, while neglecting the rest of the world. Canada, Mexico, India, the entire African continent, and South America are among the "non-focus and defocused regions" confirmed in a bleak picture of a world map that's only colored blue in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and (parts of) Europe.

Those will apparently be Sony Mobile's "focus regions" going forward, while the US, for instance, is included in a large area where the company has "no operator businesses", and presumably, no intention to make any big changes. By the end of 2020, the long-struggling Xperia smartphone business should complete a series of structural reforms expected to greatly reduce operating costs and, yes, possibly even yield a small profit.


Sony is relying primarily on high-end models with healthy margins as it works towards that ambitious goal, leveraging "leading technology" from various divisions to strengthen the appeal and save production costs on impressive devices like the Xperia 1. Of course, one of the best "structural reforms" the company could employ is releasing its smartphones shortly after their announcements. Oh, and reviving the Compact lineup (outside Japan too) wouldn't hurt either.

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12 Comments

1. ijuanp03

Posts: 616; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

Neglecting is different from restructuring. Why put negativity with Sony's decision? As if they have been making money out of their mobile division and you even constantly scoring them low. Now that they are doing what's best for the company, here you are writing an article how they intend to "neglect" most markets.

2. kennybenny

Posts: 218; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

Wasn't too surprised when I saw Canada as a red "abandoned" market. The last Sony phone launched here was the Xperia XZ2 and no more Sony's after.

3. Djz89

Posts: 447; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

I agree, good strategy

4. iloveapps

Posts: 862; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

HTC, LG and now Song, all android struggling in making a decent profit.

5. torr310

Posts: 1677; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I believe Sony's mobile devision keeps losing money... no profit yet.

6. TBomb

Posts: 1579; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Focus on the attributes that a few want vs trying to make a mass-appealing phone. Strategy could work out. I'd like to see more Android OEMs on a global scale, but nonetheless, good luck Sony.

7. ryq24

Posts: 875; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Sony should stop making and selling phones and just sell re branded Huawei phones. :-)

9. oldskool50 unregistered

Well, why spend money to try to sell product in places where no one is buying? I've to this day never seen anyone in the US selling Sony phones or using one as an example.. The only places I know their phones are used are in Asian markets, and I think that is where they should concentrate their efforts. But I also feel OEM's like Moto, LG, Sony, HTC and a few others should just get out of the smartphone business. They losing more than they are making and thus selling product as a lose just seems counter-productive. Their phones are ugly and no one wants them. It seems when it comes to Android, any phone that runs Vanilla Android, seems to have very low sells. While those that skin the UI and have a host of features like Samsung, Xioami, and Huawei are all selling like hotcakes. For the skin haters it looks like you all lose. SKIN for the WIN/WORLD!!!

12. ijuanp03

Posts: 616; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

Tough day, is it?

11. CDexterWard

Posts: 86; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

Would love to see Sony try the gaming phone strategy again. Xperia Play didn't make much of a bump in 2011, but now you have Asus, Razer, Nubia, and Huawei jumping out with their take on the experience. Get back in it an show them what you can do. Forget this tall-screen multimedia venture where everyone looks like they are holding a 2x4. Market your strengths (including an actually competitive camera), bleed a little back into these "non-focus" regions and see if you can climb out of the gutter. Always been on the cusp of buying a Sony, but something usually something was not quite 100% for me (typically price + camera). But I like having options and I think they are a company that definitely has the *capability and capacity* to put out something up to their alleged standards. They just need to act on it.

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