Sony might pull out of smartphone market

sonyNext year will be Sony’s last chance to make cash out of smartphones or it will pull out of the market.

The outfits’ CEO has flagged next year as a make-or-break year for its struggling smartphones, saying he will consider other options for the business if it failed to turn profitable.

Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai has engineered a successful restructuring drive at Sony, with recent results showing improvement thanks to cost cuts, an exit from weak businesses such as PCs, as well as strong sales of image sensors and videogames.

However Sony’s smartphone business is a blot on his perfect restructuring.

“We will continue with the business as long as we are on track with the scenario of breaking even next year. Otherwise, we haven’t eliminated the consideration of alternative options.”

Sony and other Japanese electronics makers have struggled to compete with cheaper Asian rivals, but then again few are making money out of smartphones.

Sony phones including its Xperia-branded smartphones held only 17.5 percent of the market in Japan and less than 1 percent in the North America, according to company data last year.

“I do have a feeling that a turnaround in our electronics business has shown progress. The result of three years of restructuring are starting to show. But we still need to carry out estructuring in smartphones,” Hirai said.