Sony Mobile’s CEO has stated that the firm will never sell its businesses or exit the mobile market.
In an interview with Arabian Business, Hiroki Totoki stressed that Sony is committed to making mobile devices.
“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,” he said.
A little over a year ago, Sony revealed that it was quitting the PC business and selling off its VAIO brand to concentrate on its smartphone and tablets line-up. But there has been concern over the firm’s mobile businesses for some time, with many industry commentators expecting to see the firm sell off its mobile business as well.
“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,” explained Totoki.
Back in March, the firm shut down eight of its remaining ten Sony stores in the US. The closures followed persistent corporate losses, as well as the closing of all 14 Sony stores in Canada.
Totoki addressed the firm’s focus on cutting down operation expenses: “We are trying to decrease our costs by 30 percent to the end of 2016, and reduce our headcount by 20 percent. We are trying to streamline the organisation as well as our product portfolio to maximise our profitability and improve our ROI.”
The Sony Mobile CEO declared that 2015 is ‘a year of big transformation’ for the firm, which is hoping to see an improvement in financial performance in 2016.