2018 sales projection of just 6.5 million smartphones possible catalyst for Sony Mobile restructuring that could cost 2,000 jobs
Sony has revealed that its mobile division will be realigning with its camera division and television & audio division to create what will be known as the Electronics Products & Solution Business (EP&S), effective from April 1. Although increased synergy between the divisions should be a good thing in terms of product creation, some have seen this move as an attempt by Sony to cover up the mobile division’s poor performance over the last few years.
One sales projection for Sony’s worldwide smartphone sales for 2018 has offered up an estimate of 6.5 million units sold. For a company that has aspirations of challenging the market leaders, this is an extremely poor result. Although overall smartphone sales and shipments have dropped last year, it has been estimated that Samsung, Apple, and Huawei all still managed to ship over 200 million units in 2018. Samsung’s total of 292.3 million smartphones is nearly 45 times greater than Sony’s – the South Korean manufacturer shipped Sony’s annual sales amount in just over eight days.
Clearly this kind of performance cannot continue for a company as large and renowned in its field as Sony. Regardless of how well the flagship Xperia 1 performs, Sony obviously believes now is the time to try to rescue its mortally wounded mobile division. However, this has come at a massive cost not just in terms of sales but also in regard to employees: Up to 2,000 jobs could be lost by March 2020 – or 50% of the workforce that was involved in the company’s smartphone business.
Whether this is Sony just trying to cover up its failings by merging a poorly performing division with two healthy ones, or an actual attempt to breathe new life into a smartphone business that could benefit from the expert knowledge on hand (camera sensors, video, television, gaming) is yet to be revealed. Perhaps an EP&S phoenix will rise from the ashes of Sony Mobile and present smartphone products that invigorate sales and put Sony back on the same footing as its major rivals, or maybe this year’s Xperia releases will be a swan song.