“We will never ever sell or exit from the current mobile business,” defiantly states CEO and president of Sony Mobile, Hiroki Totoki, in an interview with Arabian Business.
“Smartphones are completely connected to other devices, also connected to people’s lives — deeply.” Totoki continues, “and the opportunity for diversification is huge. We’re heading to the IoT (Internet of Things) era and have to produce a number of new categories of products in this world, otherwise we could lose out on a very important business domain.”
The smartphone has become the remote control for the smarthouse and connected car and that doesn’t appear to be changing as Totoki acknowledges.
For companies like Sony it’s difficult to see the advantage of running their own hardware as it’s the software stack that matters in controlling the platforms with that battle long being settled as a contest between Google Android and Apple iOS for the user market.
For Sony, the challenge is to find a niche to join players like BlackBerry’s QNX, Windows 10 and the other systems carving lucrative, but less visible, market sectors.
Should Sony find a niche, it’s unlikely to based upon hardware unless they can find a modern equivalent of the 1970s Walkman.
Whenever a corporation’s executives make a declaration like Totoki’s, it’s probably worthwhile for staff members in the affected divisions start brushing up their resumes. It’s not a good sign.
Regardless of Totoki’s fighting words, it’s difficult to see how Sony’s mobile division can survive as a consumer vendor.
It’s likely Sony will have to find something other than smartphones to be a Trojan horse into the Internet of Things.