Late last year, Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai revealed that Sony Mobile could focus its efforts on Europe and Japan and take a more modest approach to the world’s two largest smartphone markets, China and the United States. “It’s not realistic to try to do everything at once. In the U.S. we’ll start gradually,” explained Hirai at the time. In an interview with Nikkei this week, Kazai revealed that Sony is now gearing up to increase its attention on those two markets. “From now on, we’ll put more resources into the U.S. and Chinese markets,” he explained, adding, “we’ll put money and people into those markets.”
The company is looking to translate these investments into increased sales in a relatively short amount of time. The company hopes that smartphone sales will hit 42 million units in its fiscal 2013 year ending in March 2014. It is also looking to roughly double that to 80 million for its fiscal 2015 year (running from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016). “We hope to maintain the same growth pace as the past two years,” explained Hirai.
Early signs of this new focus on the U.S. came at CES 2014 when Sony Mobile announced the Xperia Z1S, a variant of its Xperia Z1 flagship, as a T-Mobile USA exclusive and the Xperia Z1 Compact which could also launch in North America in the near future.
Aside from a wider geographical reach, Sony will focus on a number of technologies to further distinguish its smartphones from the competition. Among these will be high-performance cameras using its own camera sensors, improved content services using the broad entertainment catalog that parent company Sony owns and battery technology. Recognizing the importance users attach to the last, Sony opted to hang on to its battery business rather than selling it and leverage it to give it a further competitive edge.
While Sony is focused on Android devices for now, it is looking at offering a broader variety of handsets in the future. It confirmed this week that it is talking with Microsoft to use Windows Phone in some future devices.
Sony’s next flagship device, codenamed Sirius, could come with a 5.2-inch display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, and could be unveiled at MWC 2014.
Source : Nikkei