Sony may be doing well with its console business with the PlayStation 4, but elsewhere in the company things aren’t looking so peachy. Specifically their mobile business which has continued to put the company’s overall revenue down for some time now.
For a while there has been speculation that Sony might ditch its mobile business in a similar way they dumped their PC division, VAIO. But in a new interview with Arabian Business, Sony Mobile CEO and President, Hiroki Totoki has revealed that they’ll “never ever sell or exit” the smartphone business and remains hopeful for the future of the company.
Totoki has been in the Sony Mobile CEO position for nine months and shows some real optimism for the company saying that 2015 is a “year of big transformation” and while the company has some “severe” competition they believe they cam come out on top through new tech and high quality products.
I’ve had to work very hard and I have been busy, but people are very cooperative and have shown a lot of energy to turn around the position, which is a good thing. I’m confident that things will continue to get better. We are trying to decrease our costs by 30 percent to the end of 2016, and reduce our headcount by 20 percent. We are trying to streamline the organisation as well as our product portfolio to maximise our profitability and improve our ROI.
We have set out our plan already and are just starting to execute it. This year, 2015, is a year of big transformation, and we will try to complete this transformation by the end of the year, and hopefully see an improvement in financial performance in 2016.
On the speculation that the company might be ditching the smartphone business, Totoki revealed that the reason for this was due to a huge lost which was made in 2014, but that mainly came from the re-purchase of Ericsson in 2012. He wanted to make it clear that this was just “accounting loss” and didn’t impact the company’s cash flow, and because of this many speculated that the company would ditch smartphones like they did with VAIO, adding that the two businesses are very different.
Smartphones are completely connected to other devices, also connected to people’s lives — deeply. And the opportunity for diversification is huge. We’re heading to the IoT (Internet of Things) era and have to produce a number of new categories of products in this world, otherwise we could lose out on a very important business domain. In that sense we will never ever sell or exit from the current mobile business.