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Sony Mobile is not exiting mobile business

By Jasper Oregas & Cookie Monster - on 8 Jul 2015, 1:30pm

Sony Mobile is not exiting mobile business

Image source: Sony Mobile

Sony Mobile's lacklustre performance for FY2014 sparked rumors that its mobile business might be up for sale, but CEO and President, Hiroki Totoki has stepped in to clear the air. 

In an interview with Arabian Business, Totoki refuted reports that Sony is exiting or selling its mobile division. He reportedly stated that the company “will never ever sell or exit from the current mobile business.” He went on to explain why:

“The speculations arose because in 2014 we made a huge loss as a mobile business. It mainly came from the write-off of the goodwill of our impairment asset. When we bought back Ericsson’s share [in 2012], we bought back 100 percent of it. And obviously that price was high. We had to write it down and it made a substantial loss for the company.

“But this was an accounting loss and did not impact our cash flow. Our cash flow is very healthy. But the accounting loss was so huge — that’s why people have speculated like this. Before that rumour, we exited the VAIO business, which was the PC business. That led people to think that Sony would exit the smartphone business, as well. But the smartphone business is very different from PCs.

“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.”

Totoki also described 2015 as a "year of transformation" for the company and is hopeful that 2016 would be better. To improve the user experience on its device, Totoki said that Sony will continue to invest in new technologies. 

“In the morning when people wake up, they look at their smartphone. When they go to bed, they look at their smartphone. Smartphones are part of life today and people now have high demands. They prefer a good quality of camera, a good quality of screen, and also good picture and audio quality. These are basic demands that people want now — they want high quality. And it’s in this area that we try to install new technology to give a better user experience, and a better feeling for the customers.”

“Yes, the competition has become severe. The smartphone device consists of a battery and a screen and chips. These are the main parts of a smartphone, and people can easily make them now. But it is the user experience that is not the same. Even if the device is the same, the user experience is different. And this is a very important point. People are not buying a smartphone because of the device and the way it looks — they are buying it because of the experience.”

“Of course we are using a very good quality of image sensor that our colleagues at Sony created. That’s the craftsmanship in technology that we have to install to provide the best user experience. That sort of craftsmanship in technology is very important — it’s key to becoming more than just a mere smartphone. It takes the quality higher, improves the brand image, and the user experience.”

Sony is rumored to be introducing a trio of new smartphones - the Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact and Xperia Z5 Ultra - later this year. Hopefully, these new devices will come with "a good quality of camera, a good quality of screen, and also good picture and audio quality" as the competition will be tough with Apple's new iPhones.

Source: Arabian Business via Xperia Blog