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Sony will rework its approach to its smartphone business next year as it seeks to turn its flagging fortunes in the segment around.Hiroki Totoki, Sony’s new mobile unit head, has acknowledged to investors the company’s previous goal of becoming the world’s third largest smartphone brand had been overly optimistic, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

The focus will now be on returning the unit to profitability, even in the face of a significant sales decline, with the aim of staying in the mobile business given its importance to the development of future consumer technologies, the WSJ further reported Totoki as stating.

Sony has already had to revise its smartphone outlook this year, performing below expectations.

In July, Sony cut its forecast from 50 million to 43 million units, stating it had made a downward revision in unit sales of mid-range smartphones, which had been expected to significantly grow mainly in emerging market countries.

Subsequently, upon the release of its second quarter results last month, Sony stated smartphone sales were expected to be below its previous July forecast “primarily due to an expected decrease in the annual unit sales of smartphones, mainly in China”.

“Our urgent task is to make the business profitable, even if we face declines in sales by 20 per cent or 30 per cent,” the WSJ reported Totoki as stating.

Sony has advised its 2018 financial targets for its mobile communications segment will be announced by the end of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015.

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