Sony set for job losses as mobile woes continue

Sony set for job losses as mobile woes continue

28 JAN 2015

Sony is apparently set to cut an additional 1,000 staff from its smartphone unit, amid speculation that it may also postpone the launch of its next flagship device – widely anticipated to take place at Mobile World Congress early in March.

According to reports, Sony will confirm the job losses early next week in line with a financial report, with the axe likely to fall hardest in Europe and China. The company has already announced some job losses, and with the new cuts the size of its mobile phone operation is likely to have fallen by around one third.

It has previously been reported that Hiroki Totoki, recently installed head of the Mobile unit, is looking to make cuts, in order to return the business to the black in the period from April 2016. The business has had a lumpy financial performance for years, dating back to its days as the Sony Ericsson joint venture.

The company’s product portfolio has also seen cuts, with devices specifically targeting China and some mid-tier smartphones among the casualties.

Sony had been expected to unveil its Xperia Z4 smartphone at Mobile World Congress – its Monday morning press conference has been a key fixture in recent years. But some publications have said that the high-end unit will not be unveiled at this time, with a debut at a separate event later in the year a possibility.

While this goes against the trend seen by vendors such as HTC and Samsung, which have moved back to Mobile World Congress having previously held stand-alone events, in Sony’s case the issue appears to be a matter of timing.

Although Xperia Z2 was launched at MWC in 2014, its successor, Xperia Z3, saw the light of day at IFA2014, giving the vendor just six months between updates of its flagship.

Other vendors using IFA for high-profile launches, such as Huawei and Samsung, debuted high-end “phablet” products rather than updates to their mainstream smartphone portfolios.

Aside from challenges in its core business, Sony has had other problems to deal with. Last week it filed for an extension on its financial reports for the period to 31 March 2015, due to disruption following the cyber-attack on its Sony Pictures Entertainment business.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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