Sony: Smartphone business collapses; services being shut down too
The downfall of Sony's smartphone division is continuing at a rapid rate. The Japanese company has been haemorrhaging sales over the last few years, dropping from 13.5 million units sold in financial year 2017 to 6.5 million last year. Now, sales of Xperia handsets have dropped to a new low of 600,000 in Q2 2019, the most recent quarter on which Sony has reported.
Sony has already responded to this rapid decline by bringing fewer smartphones to market year on year. Its disintegrating smartphone division also has serious implications for other areas, though. Sony has already discontinued several services in recent years that it had pre-installed on its Xperia handsets, something that it plans to continue.
The next service to be shut down will be the company's e-mail app, which will no longer be installed from the Xperia 5 onwards. Additionally, Sony is shuttering its newsletter service that informed people of software updates. This will take effect on December 16, but Sony will still push notifications to devices when updates are ready to be installed. Finally, the Sony Album app will lose the option to backup photos on Amazon servers by March 31, 2020.
While these are minor and replaceable services, they mark the steady decline of Sony's ailing smartphone division. It remains to be seen whether the Xperia brand will evaporate like the Lumia one did, though.