Sony boss not looking at smartphone push into US, China - Mobile World Live

Sony boss not looking at smartphone push into US, China

14 OCT 2013

If Sony is to rise up the smartphone rankings it will have to do so without a near-term push into China or the US. Kazuo Hirai, the firm’s boss, says there’s no grand scheme to try and make a bigger splash in the world’s two largest smartphone markets.

Speaking to reporters, Hirai said the focus was on Europe and Sony’s home market, Japan.

Europe and Japan combined account for around 60 per cent of the recovering vendor’s smartphone sales.

“Those two are the most important areas for us and we’ll put substantial resources there, but not yet for the US and China,” Hirai is quoted by Reuters. “It’s not realistic to try to do everything at once. In the US we’ll start gradually.”

Sony only has one smartphone customer in the US, which is fourth-placed T-Mobile.

In China, the Japanese firm has struggled to compete against market leaders Samsung, Lenovo and Coolpad, despite having contracts with the country’s top three mobile operators.

Sony is also up against local players Huawei and ZTE. According to IDC figures, each have around a 9 per cent share in China’s smartphone market.

In both China and the US, Sony fails to make into the smartphone top five.

The Japanese firm, however, has tried to beef up its device portfolio with a summer launch of what it calls “the world’s slimmest and largest full HD smartphone” (Xperia Z Ultra) and the September unveiling of Xperia Z1, its latest premium smartphone.

Sony has set a target of selling 42 million smartphones worldwide in the financial year to next March, a year-on-year increase of 27 per cent.

During its fiscal first quarter, ended 30 June, better smartphone sales and higher average selling prices helped Sony report a profit.

Smartphones sales were up 29.7 per cent, to 9.6 million, compared with the same quarter last year.

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Ken Wieland

Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight...More

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