Sony flip-flops on smartphone strategy: focus now on US and China
Barely two months ago we were hearing Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai (above) discuss his company’s plans for future smartphone sales. He identified Sony’s native Japan and Europe as “the most important areas for us” and promised to put “substantial resources there,” adding, “but not yet for the U.S. and China.” While Hirai made it clear that Sony would get around to focusing on the US eventually, he described making such a move then as “not realistic,” and instead indicated a desire to “start gradually” in the States. Well, either Sony’s timetable has been moving absurdly fast, or the company just reevaluated its priorities, because Hirai is now full-steam-ahead about Sony’s expansion in the US and China.
Citing success in Japan and Europe, Hirai explains that Sony has “decided to go on the offensive,” and that it’s ready to “put money and people into [US and Chinese] markets.” That would certainly fit with some of what we saw at CES, like the introduction of the Z1S as a T-Mobile exclusive.
But more than just having a new attitude towards the US and China, Sony is interested in seeing its global sales positively explode. The company intends to announce a doubling of its handset sales for the year ending in March, and to hit the 80-million-units annual mark in 2015.
Add to this Sony’s new interest in Windows Phone, and 2014 is shaping up to be quite the fascinating one for the company.