Sony claims for ‘no plans’ for shutting smartphone business like BlackBerry

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Criticising the rumours, Sony reveals that the company has no plans in shutting down the smartphone business. A report published at Focus Taiwan revealed, “The mobile unit of Japan’s Sony Corp. denied reports Thursday that the company may begin looking at potential buyers or exiting from the mobile business if it fails to turn a profit in 2016.”

Previously, a rumour suggested that following footsteps of BlackBerry, Sony is also planning to shut down the mobile phone business, if the sales wouldn’t cross the goals. Later, Sony Mobile CEO Hiroki Totoki has also denied the rumours during a meeting with General Manager of Sony’s Mobile’s Taiwan branch, Jonathan Lin, in Japan on October 19.

At a press event to launch the Xperia Z5 Premium flagship phone in Taiwan, Lin said, “On the contrary, Sony Mobile will offer phones that will have better screens, improved cameras and will be more energy efficient to enable a better user experience.” The company has no plans to withdraw from the smartphone market, he further added.

The firm is targetting 30 percent of market share of Taiwan’s high-end Android phones, which retail over NT$15,000 (~US$462). Sony Mobile is expecting that its new Xperia Z5 Premium smartphone would rank Sony Mobile as the top vendor of that market segment when it goes on sale in November. The Japanese electronics giant will also allocate more marketing resources in the domestic country to kick start its local sales, which evidences a new endorsement contract with Taiwanese Mandopop king Jay Chou, Lin reported.

Besides this, the Canadian business phone maker, BlackBerry has officially revealed that the firm will probably give up the smartphone business if it can’t meet the goal of selling five million smartphones a year. John Chen, BlackBerry’s CEO, said during the Code Mobile conference held on Thursday, October 8, “Sometime next year we have to make our device business profitable, otherwise I have to rethink what I do there.”

“My job is to make sure the value of the company is protected and increases… Even if I’m not in the handset business, getting into providing security for Android lets us provide solutions via software,” he further added. According to the report, the company was holding covered 42.6 percent of US market share in September 2009, however, in August this year it holds only 1.2 percent shares. It is expecting much from the recently launched BlackBerry Priv smartphone.

The firm has revealed that it has focussed a lot on security with its Android phone  and added its own software to the mix. Swiping up from the Home button reveals Google Now along with BlackBerry Hub feature. The BlackBerry Priv is now officially available for pre-orders at $699 (~Rs. 45,000). The company reveals that it will start shipping the handsets to the United States on November 6.

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  • Blackberry isn’t shutting down it’s hardware division or smartphone division.
    Not sure why the author suggests that they are.

    • Chen already said they are shutting down hardware to pursue software and he fired the 200 people that designed the Priv. At $700 that phone was set up to fail.

      • Please provide a link to where Chen said they are shutting down the hardware division.
        I know he has said that they were laying off 200 people, but there are far more than 200 people that work in the hardware division.
        In fact, Chen said that if Blackberry can sell just 5m phones per year, they will be profitable.
        This phone is not priced to fail.
        It is priced based on the specs which are all top notch and it’s still cheaper than the iphone 6s and Samsung S6.

      • Thanks for finding that.
        Again though, nowhere in that article does it say Blackberry won’t be making hardware anymore. All it says is that Blackberry needs to at least break even on hardware in order to continue making it in the future.
        Also, once the Venice (now called Priv) was completed, they reduced unnecessary staff and moved them into other roles.

        Chen has stated that Blackberry needs to sell is 5m devices per year. Right now Blackberry’s most recent quarter they sold 900k (so just below the 1.25m per quarter needed).
        If the Blackberry Priv is well received, I’m sure they’ll be able to maintain 5m device sales per year.

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