Sony warns of massive loss on smartphones
Sony has told investors that it’s writing $1.7 billion off the value of its mobile division, as the company’s financial situation continues to worsen.
The Japanese company is now forecasting a loss of more than $2 billion for the year ending March 31, more than four times the loss it was predicting previously.
The writedown comes after Sony admitted it had massively over-estimated sales of its smartphones and tablets, specifically in the mid-range handset market. “The previous MRP [mid-range plan] was focused principally on achieving significant sales growth,” Sony’s revised forecast states. “The new MRP was modified to address the significant change in the market and competitive environment of the mobile business.”
Sony says it will now strip back the number of mid-range handsets in its range and focus on premium products.
Sony is something of an also-ran in the mobile market. It’s not in the top five smartphone vendors worldwide, according to IDC’s latest figures, giving the company a market share of less than 4.8%.
Sony has reportedly had difficulty getting networks to carry its handsets in the US, although all three of the UK’s major phone networks sell Sony handsets from their websites.
Sony last year pulled out of the PC market, selling its VAIO division to a private equity fund.
The company has lost around two thirds of its value since 2007.