Sony’s Chief Executive Officer Kaz Hirai has issued some cautious words around the Xperia smartphone business whilst speaking to reporters. He confirmed that the restructuring within the smartphone division continues and that “alternative options” will need to be considered if the company cannot deliver at least sustainable break-even profits from next year onwards.
2015 has been a year of transition for Sony and whilst there has been positive buzz around its newest Xperia Z5 series, its other products released this year have not been bona-fide hits. The Xperia Z3+ in particular created a lot of negative publicity, mainly surrounding the choice of chipset, which Sony has largely conquered in the latest Z5 models.
Rumours of a new design, away from OmniBalance, for the 2016 models could be enough to see a revival next year. However, Sony still has a lot to do, especially when it comes to building relationships with carriers. The recent news around the Verizon Xperia Z4v cancellation cannot have helped matters.
In a worst-case scenario, the ‘alternative options’ that Hirai mentions doesn’t necessarily mean a sale or disposal of the business. It could mean a partnership with other manufacturer, but either way we really hope Sony do not have to resort to these measures.
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai on Xperia smartphone business
“We will continue with the business as long as we are on track with the scenario of breaking even next year onwards. Otherwise, we haven’t eliminated the consideration of alternative options.
“I do have a feeling that a turnaround in our electronics business has shown progress. The result of three years of restructuring are starting to show. But we still need to carry out restructuring in smartphones.”