This past week, Sony held its annual Corporate Strategy Meeting for Fiscal Year 2014, and both revealed its sales figures for 2013 and laid out the framework for this year’s plan and approach for the company. As some people may guess, and as Sony announced at the conference, the company increased shipments by fifty percent, while simultaneously raising profitability by fifty billion yen. The fifty percent increase in shipments is in comparison of 2013 to 2012 fiscal years. Sony continued by laying out their company’s plan for success in their mobile strategy for the fiscal year 2014.
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Kazuo Hirai, the company’s CEO, declared that the most important step in this year’s plan is monitoring. The company will, according to the plan, will “reinforce monitoring systems to analyze business outlook, including risk such as sudden changes in the market environment and negative shifts in demand, to help ensure stable operations”. What does this mean for us non-jargon-loving folk? It means that Sony will build up its internal system for looking for, recognizing, and acting upon/preparing itself for changes or disturbances in demand for the year to help the company’s progress be even less sporadic. Hirai made a point of saying that he hopes for the company to be able to make immediate changes in business plan if need be, and this is the reason for his emphasis on the subject.
Know how everyone (outside of the United States, because we don’t get many or any of them here) waits eagerly for the next flagship powerhouse device from Sony, and it takes forever, both in anticipation-time and in real-time? Well, this year, Sony aims to fix the untimely additions. They plan to add flagship devices to the company’s Xperia lineup in a more timely manner than previous years, which is great news for the technological community that waits and waits for Sony’s next device. The main reasoning, according the Hirai, is to make people continuously aware of Sony, especially as a high-end device manufacturer.
The Xperia line of devices, the Z, the Z Ultra, the Z2, etc. are great high-end and high-price devices, and everyone knows that Sony loves their top-tier performances, but what about the little guy? Sony had that in mind for this year, too. The company plan to add more devices to the lower-end of their device lineup to make their products available to more people, and especially people in regions where income is less, and durability is a plus. Don’t worry, little guys around the globe; Sony has you in mind this year.
Remember how the United States gets almost no Sony Xperia devices? And how people that want them always have to buy from international sellers? Sony wants to fix that for the U.S., but also do the same for Japan and Europe this year. The company plans and hopes to make partnerships with sellers in these countries/regions to expand their customer base further than Asia. Sony wants to be in the U.S., so let’s see how they get in.
Sony has long been a company that has wearables readily available, but they weren’t particularly useful or great to use. This year, the company aims to add more devices to the wearables category, each with their own ‘Sony’-ness about them. The company has had successes in their smartwatch category in previous years, but plan to add more and better options for consumers this year, so that is definitely something to keep an eye out for, folks.
Wearables, though, are only one type of companion device or technology to a smartphone, and Sony wants to gets its hands working on some more types and form factors of companion devices. Hirai also put emphasis here, saying how these new types of products could help produce a more stable structure for Sony itself, especially if they expand to enough new and different types of technology.
What does all this mean for us, the consumers, this year? It means that Sony is kicking into high gear with its business model within, and expanding both its horizons and coverage too. We could expect to see any kind of new, stylish phone or accessory from Sony this year, so we have to wait and see to be sure of what they have to offer.