Sony plans to reduce smartphone lineup to help cut costs



Despite building some of the most powerful and high quality Android devices in the world, Sony has long struggled to carve out a profitable chunk of the smartphone market, dominated mostly by the likes of Samsung and Apple. With earnings taking a hit, Sony announced during an investor relations meeting that they plan reduce their smartphone (and TV) business by as much as 30% in hopes of once again reaching profitability.

It’s not entirely clear where the company went wrong (marketing, limited availability of handsets) the new plan is to consolidate their smartphone lineup by focusing less on the low/mid-range, and increasing customer retention rates. With a more streamlined product portfolio, Sony would then, hopefully, be able to offer better support for their devices, increasing customer satisfaction in the process.

Sony’s all new mobile division chief told investors:

“We’ll aim to improve the profitability of our business, rather than focusing on expanding the scale of the operations or our market share. We want to establish a structure in which we can make profits even when sales fall by 20-30 percent.”

Sony Strategy Mobile division

Outside of their smartphones and tablets, Sony will again turn to their highly profitable video game and image sensor businesses to keep everything afloat. Their image sensors can already be found in Apple and countless Chinese-made devices, with Sony expecting a 70% increase over the next 3 years.

As a newly (and very satisfied) Sony Xperia Z3 Compact owner, I really can’t say enough about Sony’s Android hardware and software and would definitely consider buying another smartphone from them in the future (as long as it’s below 5-inches).

While this latest development may not sound like the best of news, Sony’s new strategy of “less is more” in regard to mobile will hopefully turn things around. It seemed to do well enough for HTC, right?

[Reuters | Xperia Blog]



Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Seems like Sony is catching HTC syndrome.
    Edit: Missed the last sentence of the article, I was beaten to it lol

  2. I ordered my xperia z3 tablet compact today. I can’t wait! I’m like a kid at Christmas, lol.

  3. Sony needs to make their tablets available to everyone on day one. They also need to price them competitively. And finally, they need demo models. I can only remember once seeing a Sony demo model out, the original xperia tablet at Walmart.

    1. The have demo models in the Netherlands

    2. They have demo units in the UK, even carphone warehouse use them as their tool for showing customers what plans are available, etc.

    3. Nice. In the United States, Sony has a poor showing. Their phones have only been available for one carrier and that carrier is in 4th place. (Not counting the older sony Ericsson phones). That carrier only really has stores in medium to large cities. So what I’m saying is that there’s a lot of people in the US who don’t get a chance to play with a Sony phone at all. So why would they ever consider buying one?

      1. Umm you realize that even though tmobile is in 4th place in terms of total subscribers they’ve actually been adding more customers every month than the the other carriers for the past year and a half now. Sony is selling their phones where most people are buying.

        1. Oh absolutely. I agree with you. I’m a big T-Mobile fan and I’m rooting for them to overtake the big dogs. I’m just saying there aren’t a lot of T-Mobile stores.

  4. Maybe they should just stick to one flagship per year like all the other manufacturers instead of this stupid 6 month cycle they’ve been doing.

    1. One flagship, one midrange, and one entry level. As long as they are as good as the Moto line in terms of performance for price, I’d be a happy customer.

  5. I hope the rumors about the z4 ultra are false and that it’ll have a 6.4 inch screen. Also hopefully the 810 if I wanted a 5.9 inch phone with an 805 i’d just get a nexus 6. Sorry for my ramblings.

    1. Might as well buy an Asus FonePad if you actually want a 6.4″ screen. You’ll look like you stuffed a laptop into your pants pockets (assuming that you can even fit in into your pants pocket).

      1. I was looking at that I’m using the oneplus one as my daily driver right now and I don’t want to downgrade specs, and I’ve just fallen in love with the idea of a 6.4 QHD display. I even measured all my pockets my normal shorts are good for a diagonal of 8 inches and my jeans 7.4 the Z ultra was about 7.02 inches in height. That’s how excited I was.

      2. That’s not his laptop lol..

  6. Just purchased the Z3 (was using Nexus devices since the Nexus S) and its pretty badass.. Opted for the Sony instead of the Nexus 6 because that phone’s just too darn big! Lol.. Also as I heard the Z3 is killer.. Only thing I dislike about this phone is the damn navigation bar! Sony’s home button is ugly as ****! Desperately hoping they change it come Lollipop!

    1. Why don’t you just install an Xperia theme then? I recommend Lollipop theme from the Google Play store.

      1. I just did! Thanks!

  7. Sony lack the marketing that apple and Samsung have. Simple as that despite that they make much nicer phones and tablets.
    The masses only know of 2 smart phones… Iphones and Samsung galaxy phones.

    1. Agreed.. Sony makes stellar hardware but needs to push it harder! Their market share is very disappointing considering the phone’s they’ve been releasing!

  8. Sony seem to be the only mobile phone company who release a relatively high-end phone with smaller dimensions (i.e. their compact Z phones). All other manufacturers who release compact phones gimp massively across the entire spec list.

  9. Sony’s problem (mobile division) have always been lack of attention to North American market. It probably comes from the origins of their mobile unit (Ericsson). Evidently Europe have not appreciated their focus on the Old World.

  10. so….Lollipop….let’s upgrade the Z’3s then reduce the department please.

  11. No matter what they do, and no matter how awesome their phones, by the time they get to Verizon, they will be butchered up and emasculated former versions of themselves,

  12. Rumours are that they’re going to show the Z4 in January.. I’m actually pretty pissed off! Z3 was released just a month ago in the UK and the Z2 6 months before that!

    1. I think you’re about 3 years early with the Z6.

      1. Corrected lol.. Although knowing Sony the Z6 is probably a year and a half – 2 years away.

  13. I was a huge Sony fan during the Playstation 1 days but moved over to the xbox when the 360 came out. If they ever want to be relevant in the mobile space, they need to open their devices up to a wider audience on all the major carriers.

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