Sony CEO plans to use smartphones to revive ailing company

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said he plans to use Sony's strength in smartphones to rebuild his ailing company, which has suffered losses for the past four quarters. Specifically, Sony said it will grow its Xperia line of smartphones and other mobile devices, including tablets, to $22 billion in three years, triple its current size.

Sony has been battered during the past four quarters thanks to its unprofitable television business. The company announced earlier this week that it will cut 10,000 jobs.

Sony recently regained control of its mobile business by purchasing Ericsson's (NASDAQ:ERIC) 50 percent stake in their decade-old Sony Ericsson joint handset venture for around $1.47 billion. The acquisition was completed in February, when Sony Ericsson was renamed Sony Mobile Communications. The company also replaced former CEO Bert Nordberg with Kunimasa Suzuki.

As part of Sony's focus on its mobile phone business, the company launched a new advertising campaign for its first Xperia smartphones under the Sony brand. The campaign, dubbed "Made of Imagination," kicked off with a 60-second commercial directed by Oscar-nominated director Wes Anderson. The campaign will be deployed across TV, print, digital, out-of-home and retail advertising, and will roll out over the course of 2012.

Besides growing its mobile device business, Sony also plans to leverage its catalog of music, movies and games to differentiate its devices and expand its PlayStation game network to offer music and video. The company will also increase its digital imaging business, which includes cameras and handycams.

For more:
- see this New York Times article

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