After battling losses in its Xperia mobile business arm for the past few quarters, Sony is now reportedly willing to consider exiting the smartphone business completely according to a new report published by Reuters. Last year the company decided to shift focus to high-end and minimize its mid-range portfolio in future to maximize profits at the cost of volumes. While it isn’t confirmed yet that Sony will indeed sell its handset business soon, the chances of the division’s survival aren’t too high.
According to the report, Sony’s CEO Kazuo Hirai and the other top management is now more open to spinning off, selling, or entering a joint-venture for its smartphone and television businesses. The Xperia and Bravia divisions remain two of the most risky businesses for the company and the smartphone business has in fact been in the red for the past one year and Sony expects the situation to remain dismal this fiscal year as well. Kazuo Hirai’s plans of turning around Sony’s financial state haven’t quite worked as planned, with the Japanese company still struggling to post significant profits.
Sony acquired Ericsson’s stake in Sony-Ericsson in the year 2012 after it decided to go solo in the smartphone market. Sony Mobile did get off to a good start in its first year and aimed at becoming the world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer, buoyed by the good response received by the first smartphones released with the Sony branding. However, sales didn’t continue to grow as Sony expected and in fact sales were actually down year-on-year in the last quarter. With sales stuck at the same level of around 40 million units annually and no signs of profit in sight, selling the smartphone business does seem like the logical next move for Sony. Most of our readers may remember that Sony sold its VAIO PC business last year after the business continued to be in the red for a long time.
What do you guys have to say? Should Sony finally exit the smartphone market forever?