AH 2015 Sony LOGO Chris Sept-15

Sony Executive Says Company Won’t Exit Smartphone Business

October 23, 2015 - Written By Kishalaya Kundu

With Sony piling up losses from its smartphone business, rumors have been rife that the company might exit the sector altogether in 2016, if things don’t improve by the end of the year. The company has had to overcome stiff obstacles in recent times, including increased competition from global rivals like Apple and Samsung at the higher end, and a whole host of Chinese and Indian manufacturers at the entry-level in some of the most lucrative and high-growth regions around the world. With its ongoing problems showing no signs of abating, the company has been forced to undertake stringent cost-saving measures like several rounds of job cuts at its facilities in Sweden and China. The company has also confirmed plans of shutting shop in some of the less lucrative markets, where it believes it will continue to struggle in the foreseeable future.

While different Sony executives from time to time has issued denials about the company’s supposed plans to exit the smartphone sector, rumors about 2016 being a “make or break” year for Sony simply refuse to go away. Earlier today, yet another high-level executive of the company joined the steadily lengthening list of Sony officials to have issued an official denial about the company’s plans of bidding farewell to the smartphone business. According to a report published by Focus Taiwan, Mr. Jonathan Lin, the general manager of Sony Mobile Taiwan, has apparently claimed that Mr. Hiroki Totoki, the head of Sony’s Mobile Division, denied plans of exiting the phone manufacturing business altogether in a meeting held between the two on the 19th of this month. Speaking at the Taiwan launch event of the Xperia Z5 Premium, Mr. Lin reportedly said, “On the contrary, Sony Mobile will offer phones that will have better screens, improved cameras and will be more energy efficient to enable a better user experience”.

Earlier this month, the CEO of Sony Corp. the redoubtable Mr. Kazuo Hirai, said at an interaction with the media that Sony will continue to be a part of the mobile phone landscape “as long as we are on track with the scenario of breaking even from next year onwards. Otherwise, we haven’t eliminated the consideration of alternative options”. So not exactly an emphatic denial of all exit plans, but provided Sony does start moving towards the right direction, there’s a chance that the Xperia range of mobiles won’t go the way of the company’s Vaio range of notebook PCs any time soon.