Sony Mobile’s CVP of Sales & Marketing, Dennis van Schie, has been speaking to The Wall Street Journal to reveal some of the company’s ambitions. He said that Sony Mobile is targeting to be the third largest handset vendor by sales “not in 10 years’ time, but a lot sooner.”
Dennis van Schie says that Sony Mobile currently has around about 6.5% to 7% of the market by value. To hit that number three mark, Sony needs to capture “20% of the smartphone market by value.” It hopes to hit this target using its brand value and existing distribution network. “Across the world Sony still has a very strong brand awareness and brand recognition, which is premium and quality and design-lead,” said Dennis van Schie.
He also talked about the benefits of moving from Sony Ericsson to being wholly owned by Sony. “Even if we thought we were part of Sony, all the hard-core technological assets that were available—applications, services, the hardware, like the sensors—were not really made available to us.” For example, Sony’s camera sensors were made available to Sony Ericsson at the same time as other vendors.
Dennis van Schie also went to reiterate comments made by Kazuo Hirai regarding a focus on the premium segments. “That is where the value is, that is where the money is,” and would “play to our strengths—the premium brand that Sony stands for.”
On the distribution side: “Where we leverage—and this is a big change from the past—the sales and marketing infrastructure of Sony. For example, in India. I was responsible for product development on the technological side at Sony Ericsson. We had a team of 25, 30 people, and to get to the mom-and-pop stores out there in a massive, complex and vast country like India is very risky.
“Sony Electronics have 650 people on the ground. Over 10 years they have built this network for selling TVs, PlayStation, cameras. Now, when we merged … we suddenly see a massive growth in India.”
However, two big hurdles for Sony Mobile to overcome will be China and the US, where it currently has minimal share. However, in China he expects the brand value would carry the company. “Leveraging the fact that Sony China has a very strong and solid footprint in the market with a much wider coverage than [Sony Ericsson] had. We were only present in roughly 30 cities in China. Sony China is everywhere.”