Sony Mobile Drops 1,000 Jobs, Plans Reorganization
Sony Mobile plans to cut 1,000 jobs, about 15 percent of its workforce, in a move company officials said will reduce costs, save operations money and help ratchet up smartphone product development and marketing.
The layoffs are slated to start this year and run through March 2014. In addition, this October, Sony Mobile will relocate its corporate headquarters from Lund, Sweden, to Toyko, a move consistent with the company’s strategy to build a closer relationship with other Sony divisions. The Lund site will be reconfigured to focus on software and application development.
“Sony has identified the mobile business as one of its core businesses and the Xperia smartphone portfolio continues to gain momentum with customers and consumers worldwide,” said Kunimasa Suzuki, Sony Mobile president and chief executive. The company has three new, Android-based Xperia models on the way.
Inasmuch as Sony Mobile’s smartphone unit shipments don’t register on any major market researcher’s Geiger counters, will the vendor’s restructuring and invigorated emphasis on its Xperia smartphone help it pop its head above water? And, will it create new opportunities for communications VARs? Let’s look at the details:
With Samsung and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) running roughshod over the global smartphone market, together commanding just about 50 percent of shipments in Q2 2012 according to IDC’s latest figures, it’s going to be a steep climb uphill for Sony to gain even the slightest recognition. Still, if RIM fails to recover and Microsoft’s Windows Phone doesn’t make some serious moves upward, the remainder of the market may be primed for the taking. Will Sony be able to sneak in there?
Sony officials believe that working closer with the wider Sony group will enable it to bring better smartphones to market quicker and more cost effectively and “bring the business back to a place of strength,” Suzuki said.
We will have to wait to see if there’s room in the market, given the dominance of the current leaders.