Sony insists it ‘will never sell or exit’ the smartphone business

Xperia Z4 comes in four colors. Photo: Sony

Sony won’t give up on its Xperias. Photo: Sony

Sony’s smartphone business has been dragging the company down for several years. While its gaming, camera, and other businesses thrive, the Sony Mobile has been having a negative impact on its bottom line.

But despite that, the Japanese firm insists it will fight on, and “never sell or exit” the smartphone business.

Many reports have suggested Sony is close to selling off its smartphone division, as it did its Vaio computer business when that no longer became sustainable. But Sony Mobile CEO and President Hiroki Totoki says the smartphone and PC businesses are very different.

“Smartphones are completely connected to other devices, also connected to people’s lives — deeply. And the opportunity for diversification is huge,” Totoki told Arabian Business.

The speculation surrounding Sony’s sale first started when the company made a major loss on its mobile business in 2014 — after having written off its 2012 buyback of shares from former mobile partner Ericsson. But that write-off did not impact Sony’s cash flow, Totoki says.

In fact, Sony’s cash flow “is very healthy,” and it’s planning a number of new product categories that will help it compete as we head into “the IoT (Internet of Things) era,” Totoki added.

“In that sense we will never ever sell or exit from the current mobile business.”

Tokori knows that Sony has to make changes to compete — not only with big rivals like Apple and Samsung, but also startups companies like Xiaomi, which are doing incredibly well in China and other emerging markets.

“We’re trying to introduce new technology in the future and diversify our product even more,” Totoki revealed. “The quality and strength of the product is always the starting point as far as strategy goes for the company.”

You’ll be seeing a lot more from Sony’s smartphone business in the future, then — including a flagships Xperia Z5, which is going to be pretty spectacular, according to recent rumors. And that’s great news for Sony fans.

But Sony is going to need a lot more of those if it wants to remain in the smartphone industry long-term, otherwise it may have little choice in whether or not it should continue.