Sony is looking to restructure itself as the company looks to increasing operating profit by 25 times by 2018, and the biggest sacrifice appears to be the underperforming smartphone division. This follows multiple rounds of downsizing, spinning off the television division into a wholly owned subsidiary, and selling the Vaio laptop brand.
It is no secret that Sony’s smartphones have not been performing well in the market, and the division has been holding the company back from larger profits. This stands in contrast to the highly profitable PlayStation division, which has caused analysts to wonder if Sony should concentrate on making consoles and gaming instead of other electronics.
Sony CEO, Kazuo Hirai, has told press that the company will continue to focus on its more profitable aspects; which in this case means PlayStation; as well as the manufacture of camera sensors, which are used by many other smartphone manufacturers, including Apple.
While Hirai has not explicitly stated that Sony will be exiting the smartphone market, he has indicated that the company is seriously considering the move. At the very least, the division could potentially be spun off into a subsidiary.
Leaving smartphones behind would not be the first part of Sony to be discarded as Hirai works to streamline the company and reshape it into something more profitable. The personal computer division was sold off to a private investment firm in Japan, bringing an end to the struggling Vaio brand. Similarly, the company also announced that it would be ending its in-house music streaming service; replacing it with a partnership with Spotify.
Sony smartphones have not exactly been suffering from a lack of quality, as the company has traditionally put a lot of work into the devices. It is not entirely certain why the Xperia line has not gained any traction with consumers, although there are several theories about it. If anything, Sony makes devices that deserve to be competing on a bigger scale; it is just nobody seems to care about them.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]