Sony breaks the mold for smartphone growth

March 2, 2013 at 2:16 PM
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TOKYO, March 2 (UPI) -- A technology research expert said Japanese electronics giant Sony has embraced a new focus on mobile technology due to its potential for growth.

"Sony has realized that mobile is so central to what Sony the corporation does. It is probably the most important things that it does from now on," said Shaun Collins, chief executive officer of mobile technology research firm CCS Insight.

The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that sales of traditional electronic devices are floundering, as the smartphone becomes a kind of do-all device that saps sales of cameras, video recorders and even music players, gaming platforms, televisions and computers.

Sony's sales of video camcorders is down 9 percent, while digital compact camera sales are off 29 percent. Television sales are down 31 percent in a 12 month span ending in March, the Journal said.

Sony's smartphone sales, concurrently, are expected to grow 50 percent.

This year, Sony is counting on the Xperia Z smartphone, which went on sale in early February.

Sales are off to a brisk start, the Journal said. They were helped when the head of telecommunications carrier NTT DoCoMo Inc., endorsed the Xperia Z at an event in January.

The phone represents hope for Sony's bottom line, but could also stand as a testament to Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai's strategy of using Sony's expertise in various technologies to the company's advantage.

Breaking away from Sony's standard approach of setting up a division to create a smartphone on its own, Hirai had engineers from the company's digital camera division contribute, while engineers from the Bravia television unit worked to give the devise a sharper image in video playback.

The final look was created by an industrial division that could give the phone a classic Sony look, the Journal said.

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