Sony confirmed it’s presently reviewing some of its mobile units in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East in an effort to determine their “business feasibility” and possibly resolve to downsize or shutter them entirely. The development comes shortly after known industry insider Evan Blass said the Japanese original equipment manufacturer will be closing its divisions in the Middle East, Turkey, and select African markets, though Sony maintains nothing has been decided as of right now. In a statement provided to Android Authority, the Tokyo-based tech giant said the new reviews are part of its “ongoing measures to drive profitable growth.”
While the company recently posted the most successful fiscal year in its 72-year history, its mobile division returned to the red over the 12-month period ending this March, losing approximately $250 million. Sony said that deficit isn’t significant in the context of its overall operations which generated a $6.6 billion profit on $77 billion worth of sales over the same period but added that it will still be looking to return the mobile division to the black as quickly as possible. Doing so may not be a straightforward task as Sony is now expecting its smartphone sales to continue declining in the near term, dropping from 13.5 million units in the 2017 fiscal year to some ten million devices over the following year.
Sony’s ambitions to return to profitability in the mobile market are also likely to be inhibited by the Japanese yen that’s projected to continue growing stronger in the coming months, which is bad news for any business that heavily relies on exports and foreign sales like its Android handset unit does. Despite those difficulties, the company repeatedly stated it has no intentions of exiting the mobile space in the foreseeable future as it believes smartphone technologies are likely to lead to the next big thing in the consumer electronics industry, whether that’s 5G, augmented reality, both, or something else entirely.