Saturday, October 12, 2013
Sony Aims For Top 3 In Global Smartphone Market: Hirai
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Sony Corp. (6758), which is currently not even among the world's five largest smartphone manufacturers, will eventually make it into the top three by coming up with distinctive products, vowed President Kazuo Hirai on Friday.
"We will differentiate ourselves by releasing products that are uniquely Sony," Hirai told The Nikkei and other members of the media, indicating that the company will draw on its strengths in cameras and other fields.
"My mission has been to revive the electronics business," said Hirai, who took the helm of the company a little more than a year and a half ago.
- Kazuo Hirai
Hirai said that he pushed ahead with "bringing together the all-around strength of Sony," such as putting digital-camera and television specialists on the smartphone development floor. Those reforms are bearing fruit now, he said. "We're starting to release good products in such fields as smartphones."
The global smartphone market has been logging double-digit growth and will continue to expand, predicted Hirai. In Sony's smartphone strategy, the top priority is to protect market share in Japan and then boost it, he added.
"We'll grab market share with the Xperia brand, which has penetrated the market considerably over the past year," he said.
Hirai also revealed that Sony will concentrate some of its resources in Europe to expand its share of that market. "Focusing on every region in the world at the same time isn't realistic," he said, suggesting that Sony will not make full-scale efforts to lift smartphone sales in the U.S. and China for the time being.
Regarding the electronics business, he said: "We've been trying to stop the bleeding by narrowing down product lineups and reducing shipment volume, but we'll move aggressively to boost market share now that we're coming up with good products in such areas as 4K televisions."
Hirai did not comment on reports that NEC Corp. (6701) will sell its Internet service provider unit NEC Biglobe Ltd. Sony conducts ISP operations though wholly owned unit So-net Corp.
"We aim to grow by aggressively introducing new services," Hirai said, hinting that Sony is not eager to acquire Biglobe.
(The Nikkei, Oct. 12 morning edition)