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.
BARCELONA, Spain--Sony Mobile Communications announced updates to its flagship mobile products at Mobile World Congress, including new premium devices the Xperia Z2 smartphone and Xperia Z2 tablet.
Sony swung back to a profit in the second quarter and its Sony Mobile Communications unit reported a 30 percent jump in smartphone shipments in the period, which was good news for the company. However, that momentum may not continue, as Sony has signaled it has no major plans to get more aggressive in China and the United States, the world's two largest smartphone markets.
Sony swung back to a profit in the second quarter and its Sony Mobile Communications unit reported a 30 percent jump in smartphone shipments in the period, a signal that its efforts to revive its Xperia-branded line are starting to take hold.
T-Mobile US will get exclusive U.S. rights to launch Sony Mobile Communications' flagship Xperia Z smartphone, giving Sony a boost in a crucial market, albeit via the smallest Tier 1 carrier.
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said that Sony Mobile Communications still has a lot of challenges ahead of it in terms of breaking into the U.S. market, but he said that the company's flagship Xperia Z smartphone will be launched by a U.S. carrier shortly.
Sony swung to an annual profit for the first time in five years and said it expects smartphone sales to jump by more than a quarter to 42 million units this fiscal year, as the once-venerable electronics maker leans more on its mobile business to help revive its fortunes.
Sony wants its Sony Mobile Communication unit to grow into the world's third largest smartphone maker behind Samsung Electronics and Apple, according to a senior executive. The comments indicate Sony is one of a large and growing number of manufacturers looking to grab share behind the industry's leaders.
Sony Mobile Communications may abandon the low-end smartphone market and focus primarily on high-end devices as it seeks to reestablish its mobile brand. The company is putting a great deal of emphasis on the "premium" experience aspect of its devices, as exemplified by the Xperia Z, the new flagship smartphone Sony unveiled this week at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Despite high-profile movie endorsements, Sony Mobile's smartphones have yet to break through, much as the former Sony Ericsson struggled. Still, the company is not giving up, and plans to boost smartphone sales 51 percent to 34 million units in the year ending March 31.