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Sony says its unprofitable smartphone business is here to stay

By midian182 · 13 replies
May 23, 2019
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  1. In the year ending March, Sony’s smartphone segment recorded an operating loss of $879.45 million. It currently holds a global market share of less than one percent and ships just 6.5 million handsets annually, mostly to Japan and Europe. That’s a far cry from Samsung’s 291.3 million units and Apple’s 206.3 million, but Yoshida says there are no plans to abandon this part of the business.

    “We see smartphones as hardware for entertainment and a component necessary to make our hardware brand sustainable. And younger generations no longer watch TV. Their first touch point is smartphone,” he said.

    While most reviewers called the latest Xperia XZ3 a good phone, there’s nothing that makes it stand out from the crowd. Sony might find more success with the Xperia 1, which is aimed at cinema fans (it uses a 21:9 OLED display that supports wide color gamuts) and launches on July 12 for $950.

    Sony plans to make its smartphone business profitable across the next financial year. It’s already started cutting costs by ceasing production at its Beijing plant and streamlining sales operations. It also plans to half its workforce and boost the gaming functions of its handsets to attract PlayStation users

    Permalink to story.

  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 3,970   +1,173

    Rapid Android updates would differentiate the product, eh?
    Godel likes this.
  3. R00sT3R

    R00sT3R TS Guru Posts: 155   +336

    So, they'll pull the plug next year..
    JaredTheDragon and EClyde like this.
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,661   +2,414

    I find it really weird that people actually watch TV on phones. Large tablets or PCs, maybe, but phones? That's like driving the Indy 500 in a golf cart.
  5. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,140   +834

    If you're going to bother selling lackluster handsets, you might as well stand out.

    Question: Why not continue with Xperia Play and make them better gaming devices for Android and Vita/PSP games?

    Water resistant gaming phones that can make use of the PS Store and Android store...

    Apple takes a lot of criticism for minor innovation and minor improvements to its line annually, but at least they actually do bother to upgrade their line annually - even if it's incremental. That's why iPads and Macs are untouchable.

    Had SONY continued with Xperia Play instead of just making it a one-off gimmick, they wouldn't have to retreat from the Vita market and they'd probably have capitalized on the FORTNITE/ PUBG / mobil multiplayer boom.

    They had a phone with dual analog controls already built in...
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,779   +3,906

    Maybe that's why they're doing so poorly, because of their strange set of beliefs.

    Hell, I accidentally watch a movie all the way through on my 27" computer screen and I feel somehow obligated to watch it again on my actual TV.
  7. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 749   +366

    Dear sony, I recommend you to improve the quality of your devices.
    Look at LG, look very closely. They were never as good for a long run
    as Apple or Samsung. But they kept pricing their devices at the similar ranges as those 2.
    Many times I thought of purchasing Sony when looking for a next new device.
    And every time after researching a specific device on forums I realized im not that rich
    to have to throw away their device after few years of use. I might be exaggerating a bit,
    I know there are people using Sony devices more than few years and those working just fine.
    But with Samsung or Apple, I would not have to worry at all. I know they will serve me faithfully because
    I see these older devices used by my family and they hold extremely well after years of heavy us.
    And therefore, I like the rest of the people responsible for low sales chose to avoid sony products priced
    like they are today. Your devices are attractive and stand out from other brands, and this is why I still wanna get your device some time in the future. But you dont deserve profits at this time with the average quality and premium prices you want for your cellphones.
  8. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,686   +434

    I watch Netflix on my Note 9 quite often.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,779   +3,906

    You know, media by it's very nature is always going to be unreal. The sights, sounds, and smell of a live concert isn't, at least for now, going onto a disc.

    With that said, it seems "you kidz today", have either lost hope of approaching reality, or have completely lost track of what it is. Or possibly even more tragic, have no desire for it.

    Anyway, I bought a "Dragonforce" (*) Blu-ray, fired up the old Pioneer 5.1 channel, and hopelessly outdated 55" 4K TV (It's not OLED), cranked up my pathetic 3rd or 4th line down Klipsh towers, ( 2 x 8" closeouts from Newegg) grabbed some seasoned rum, (coke chaser), and had a fairly decent experience.

    But a 6" phone for that purpose, spare me. And as for "ear buds", well, my mammy and pappy tole me. "never put anythin' in yur ears smaller than yur elbow".

    (*) Speed / power metal band, a guilty pleasure and childish outlet for someone of my advanced years.

    You probably wonuldn't like them, but just in case, here's a martial video game anthem with a lovely Celtic lilt... (I loves those triplets). Got your phone handy?

    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  10. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,686   +434

    It's quite the stereotyping there. It's merely for convenience when I am travelling or in the bath, laying in bed and what not. I have earbuds, could not even imagine having overears using my phone, bluetooth is life and I skate a lot so...

    My desktop setup is a whole lot different. A 21:9 with Sony XB700s and an AMP, that experience is far superior and I am sure it is even more if you have a home cinema.

    I am from era where I can still appreciate old mediums, classic movies or music etc.

    I am at work atmo so can't listen, I do like classic/alt rock and trash metal/power metal. But I am also a guy that will like likes of Joyner Lucas, Metro Boomin... (list goes on). Thank my parents for my large music taste.

    Nothing wrong with watching digital media on phone, sometimes it's the only option and the experience is just as good if you give a **** about the story, unless you care about the bells and whistles of the physical experience (which defeats the purpose).
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,779   +3,906

    Oh dear, I was trying for quite a bit of ball breaking, and all you got out of it was "stereotyping"?

    I've failed myself yet again.

    But, now that you mention it, this generation does give off a stereotype with those phones. The stupid looks on their faces as they saunter across the street in front of you. They take their good old time. I really couldn't imagine myself being that rude, self absorbed, and slothful.

    I got stuck in line at Walmart last night, behind some biddy trying to get "tap and pay", or whatever it's called to work with her phone.Hey, cash works better than that nonsense, and you don't burn up any "data" using it..

    But hey, I"ll turn on the TV, and just listen to a program while I'm on the web. I guess that's wasteful. I'm a TV baby, but my grandfather used to listen to baseball on the radio. And you thought it was boring to watch..

    Still, watching this generation from a distance, it does seem like the humanity is being sucked out of them and into those stupid little screens..
  12. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,686   +434

    The data usage is probably super low for contactless. When homeless ask me for money it's awks, we never carry cash in UK. Now if they had a tapper, might send them 10p.

    I hate TV, it full of **** you have to pay for and never watch.

    It's certainly causing a lot of issues with attention spans and general human interaction. Looking at my Instagram use over last 7 days, I have opened it up over 1000 times with total use of nearly 7 hours. That is scary.
  13. GamerNerves

    GamerNerves TS Rookie Posts: 27   +13

    Sony's smartphone design superiority and sovereign rule of practicality don't seem to attract many who don't know how a phone can be better than what they already happen to have. Key features of Xperia phones are following:

    Dedicated camera button, long time battery endurance and minimal standby drain, slightly customized Android where it matters, waterproof design for use in rain or any watery condition, stereo speakers with clear vocals, flagship hardware in a compact form, practical side mounted fingerprint scanner (on some models) and timely updates. The latest screen ratio of 21:9 is perfect for viewing latest movies and series, makes one hand usage more natural and enables more information on screen in apps that require scrolling up and down.

    If all this is not mobile phone brilliancy, I don't know what is.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,779   +3,906

    Once again you've managed to take my figurative snot and turn it into an observation about either my belief system, or lack of technical knowledge. It does cost maybe $40.00 USD a month to have the phone in the first place. The debit card is free with your checking account. Cash is free of charge drawn against your own bank. I won't own a cell. As a bachelor, orphan, only child, and aged out sociopath, I don't have the need or the inclination to take on anther bill.

    A classic example of my work-around for "we match our online price in the store is making the cashier look up the online price with his or her phone at checkout. That always saves me about half on the price of tapeworm medicine for my cats.25 to 30 at the store, 15 online.(USD)

    Where I am, I don't carry cash for that very reason. As a confirmed narcissist, I figure I'm nowhere near as fortunate as I should be. Besides, I have had one particular crack strumpet begging me for money because, "she hadn't eaten in days", while sitting on her dealers steps. I figure any use to society by these creatures.has been gone for years. "Empathy", what the hell is that? It's hard to imagine myself stupid or naive enough to buy into that nonsense.

    As you might have noticed it's "begging season", which means you can't go through a major intersection without having a tin cup and a sob story shoved in your face. I often wonder what a day's take might be on the best corners, and if it "beats working".

    Well, I have no idea what the broadcast cost construct is with the BBC. Here, I get the "Superbowl" for free, and the ads are often as entertaining as the game. But, I'm in a large metro area. If I weren't so lazy, I'd put an antenna on my roof, and be able to get damned near every TV series for the last 50 years, all gratis. The ads you say? Well there's the mute button, the refrigerator, and the bathroom, all part of what they call in theaters, "intermission".

    Yeah well, I have absolutely no need of Trump's tweets. Facebook is a wasteland of superficial "friendships", and data mining.So I belong to a couple of forums with which I have some compelling or common interest, and leave it at that.

    Although, I did grow up in the hip era. If we had had cell phones, I can't begin to imagine how much "sex out of wedlock" I might have enjoyed. Many years ago, I met an "acquaintance" (long story), on the street. He had one of them thar new fangled "cell phones". His new wife was calling him every 5 minutes. I dubbed the piece of crap an, "electronic leash", and have left my assessment of them it at that. With NSA monitoring and GPS included on all smartphones, it's much, much, worse today.
    Last edited: May 24, 2019

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