Forget the Rumors, Sony is ‘Never’ Leaving the Mobile Business

It is no secret that Sony’s smartphone division has been struggling for quite some time now. Since its breaking away from long-time partner with Ericsson in 2012, it has brought numerous respectable products to the market, with varying amount of success. The past few years have been considerably tougher though.

With the arrival of new competitors all around the food chain, Sony lost its way somewhere and has been gradually on the path to decline for years now. With the recent axing of the once-flourishing VAIO line-up came the rumors that the company will be doing the same to its mobile division, which is still of significant value, to concentrate more on its television and gaming businesses. Thankfully, such stories have been refuted by the new CEO of Sony Mobile, Mr. Hiroki Totoki himself.

Mr. Totoki was quoted as saying that the company “will never ever sell or exit from the current mobile business” in an interview with ArabianBusiness.

He said that the rumors mainly rose in 2014 after the division incurred a significant loss after the goodwill write-off from 2012’s Ericsson buyout deal. The killing of the VAIO division only added fuel to the fire. Even Kaz Hirai, the CEO of Sony said that decision to leave the smartphone industry will be considered by the company.

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 provided a positive outlook for the mobile divisions future, calling 2015 “a year of big transformation”. Sony plans to cut costs by 30% and the workforce by one-fifth during this period. This “transformation” will ultimately bring improvements in financial performance hopefully by 2016.

Improvements will be brought to the basic components of the mobile experience with the use of the latest technologies. It remains to be seen whether these efforts will be as successful as they’re ambitious.