Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai confirmed that the company is willing to get out of the mobile phone business, although the electronics giant currently has no plans to do so. When asked about Sony's TV and mobile phone units during a presentation of Sony's latest turnaround strategy, Hirai said he would not "rule out considering an exit strategy," according to Reuters.
Sony confirmed it will cut another 1,100 employees from its Mobile Communications business, on top of the 1,000 job cuts it had already announced in that unit. The company, which disclosed the job cuts in conjunction with its quarterly earnings report, will prune the mobile division down to 5,000 employees by March 2016, a 28 percent cut to a unit that Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said in the past would be a key element of the company's electronics business.
Sony plans to slash another 1,000 jobs from its smartphone unit amid a push to get back to profitability, according to multiple reports. The cuts would come on top of 1,000 layoffs Sony previously announced for its Sony Mobile Communications business. If the reports prove accurate, Sony will employ around 5,000 people in its smartphone business by March 2016.
According to a report from Reuters, Sony is now considering drastic actions like a sale of its mobile phone business, after failing to resuscitate the operation with a focus on high-end smartphones. The report noted that the company isn't currently considering any specific deals, but could implement a sale or strategic partnership on its struggling business units like its mobile phone division.
Sony is cutting the number of models in its smartphone lineup to boost profits in its mobile unit. The Japanese company acknowledges it has lost substantial ground to Samsung Electronics, Apple, Xiaomi, Lenovo and other market leaders.
Verizon Wireless will launch Sony Mobile Communications' Xperia Z3v smartphone, a variant of the smartphone maker's latest flagship Z3. The deal gives Sony a much-needed boost in a market where T-Mobile US has been its only real consistent carrier partner during the past few years.
The IFA electronics trade show in Berlin kicked off with a bang, with Samsung Electronics announcing two new versions of its Galaxy Note phablet as well as the Gear VR virtual reality headset. Meanwhile, Sony also unveiled a slew of new devices in its Xperia line.
Sprint and its parent SoftBank will partner with Sony Mobile Communications to launch Sony's next flagship Xperia-branded smartphone, according to multiple reports. The launch would represent the first time either carrier partnered with Sony for a phone rollout.
Sony said its Sony Mobile Communications unit hopes to sell 50 million smartphones in its coming fiscal year after falling short of last year's goal of 40 million, which itself had been revised down.
Sony said sales from its Mobile Communications unit rose 45 percent year-over-year in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, its fiscal third quarter. However, Sony also cuts its annual forecast for smartphone sales. The dampened forecast comes as Sony said it will sell its PC business, which sells notebooks under the Vaio brand, to buyout firm Japan Industrial Partners.