Sony President Kazuo Hirai recently spoke about a major change in the smartphone industry and predicted the end of contemporary smartphones within the next decade. Hirai gave a comprehensive interview to AFR Weekend in Australia and talked about the long-term future of mobile technology. The Sony chief is already looking ahead to a time beyond smartphones as we know them right now, to a time when virtual reality (VR) solutions will have a more significant role in the consumer electronics industry.
Hirai spoke about the current domination of Apple and Samsung in the slowing smartphone market and acknowledged that Sony is no longer in a position to gain significant market share from the two major players in this segment. This statement was made despite the favorable impact made by the recently released high-end Sony Xperia XZ Premium. Although Hirai also said that the company anticipates its phone division will still be somewhat successful in the future, Sony's executive said it was unlikely that consumers will be seeking smartphones in their current form in the future. Instead, Hirai sees a complete turnaround in mobile communications devices over the next ten years. Although Sony's chief didn't elaborate on the matter, Hirai went on to discuss the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, implying that segment might somehow change smartphones in the future.
Hirai also spoke about Sony’s interest in commercial-grade VR technology, and of the company’s beneficial standing in this regard because of its participation in several related fields. Sony will be increasingly focusing on VR, which will encompass many of its business arms including business technology, TV and movie production, gaming, and TVs. Hirai went on to say that the company’s established base of PlayStation 4 users made this a rational place to begin the drive forward with VR and said that VR content not related to games will follow in the future. Sony's President went on to emphasize that the VR experience and content creation is important for the future success of the company, as it will have a beneficial impact on not just the company’s video game arm but also other areas such as Sony Pictures and Sony Music.