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.