Following the restructuring where Sony merged its mobile division to company’s TV, audio and camera operations, the company is reportedly gearing to cut on losses in its phones division by halving half of its workforce.
Recently came the news of the Sony Mobile division being merged with the company’s other divisions like TV, audio and camera into Sony Electronics Products and Solutions. Now, the Nikkei Asain Review says that the company will be cutting down the workforce in its phone division by almost half of its current workforce of 4000, by March 2020. Stiff global competition and shrinking sales are being blamed for the layoffs. As per the report, Sony’s market share in the smartphone market has sharply fallen from more than 3 percent in 2010 to lower than 1 percent currently.
“In fiscal 2014, Sony pulled 1,000 employees from its smartphone operations, but sales have plunged faster than expected, necessitating a further round of cuts. Sony's smartphone business generates annual revenue of about 500 billion yen, but is expected to post an operating loss for the third straight year through fiscal 2019. By halving operating expenses from fiscal 2017, the company hopes the business will turn a profit by fiscal 2020,” the report reads. Some of the company’s Japanese employees are said to be transferred to other divisions, however, voluntary retirement will be offered for its employees in Europe and China operations.
The company is said to limit its smartphone sales in Southeast Asia and other regions to focus on Europe and East Asia. Speaking of Sony’s smartphones, the company last announced its flagship Xperia X1 at this year’s Mobile World Congress trade show. The new smartphone sports a 4K HDR OLED display that is super-tall at 21:9 aspect ratio. Alongside the flagship, the Xperia 10 and 10 Plus mid-range devices with a 21:9 display aspect ratio were also announced. Additionally, in the budget segment, the company showcased its Xperia L3 smartphone that features a standard 18:9 display aspect ratio, and dual rear cameras. You can read more about these phones here.