Speculation is mounting that Sony may use next weeks Mobile World Congress to announce that they are exiting the smartphone market.
SmartHouse has already been told that the Company has already had talks with a number of parties including a major Chinese Company who have expressed interest in tasking on the risk of selling Sony branded smartphones, among those Companies are TCL and an unknown Company who manufacture millions of OEM smartphones.
The struggling Japanese Company has spent the six months closing down or restructuring various divisions of their operation Last year, the company ditched its PC business, while TV became a separate company.
Four months ago their audio and video business was split into two with Melbourne based distributor Audio Active snaring the rights to sell the Companies premium sound products.
On the brink of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Kazuo Hirai, Sony CEO, said he would not “rule out considering an exit strategy” for the company’s mobile phone unit.
Insiders are saying that he will make some form of announcement at MWC.
What is happening now with the sale or closing down of key Sony divisions is that the Company could become a skeleton of its former self.
What Sony want to achieve is to boost operating profit 25-fold within three years by growing its camera sensors and PlayStation units, its chief executive said recently, outlining a strategy that could see the company exit the cut-throat TV and smartphone sectors.
CEO Kazuo Hirai said last week the Japanese consumer electronics firm would no longer pursue sales growth in areas such as smartphones where its has suffered competition from cheaper Asian rivals as well as industry leaders like Apple and Samsung Electronics.
Sony would instead focus its spending on more profitable businesses such as camera sensors, videogames and entertainment as it seeks to return to growth after forecasting for this financial year its sixth net loss in seven years.
Asked about the TV and mobile phone units, Hirai said he would not “rule out considering an exit strategy”, Sony’s clearest statement to date about the possibility of selling or finding partners for these struggling units.
Sony is in the midst of a restructuring that has so far seen it sell off its personal computer division and spin off the TV business. It has also axed thousands of jobs.
Sony shares have risen more than 80 percent over the past year as investors applauded the restructuring, which accelerated since Hirai appointed Kenichiro Yoshida as his chief strategy officer in late 2013.