Since February 2012 when Sony bought out Ericcson from the Sony-Ericcson joint venture, they have doing very well at building up their Android devices and have done well with the high-end smartphones, tablets and a network in mid-range.
However, like so many manufacturers they have a challenge with America. Their Xperia range struggled in the US and Chinese markets. Japan and Europe are their best supporters with 60% of their Android sales coming from there. In view of this, Sony has decided to focus on these and have handed the US and Chinese markets to their opposition. This does not mean that Sony will not engage with networks in the US, it merely means that they will focus on the area where their returns are better.
Nokia and Microsoft have faced a similar situation. The Windows phone has 10% market share in Europe and barely 3% in the US. This means that a different marketing strategy is called for.
Because Sony has not got the type of budget that Microsoft has, they will not have a split marketing strategy for 2014. This is a sensible decision on the part of Sony.
Q2 results saw Sony making a profit of $60 million and 9.6 million sales of the Xperia smartphone. This is in sharp contrast with Q2 in 2012 where they made a $28 million loss. This has been the first divisional profit in 2 years. Sony needs to consolidate this if they are to attain their vision in the mobile phones market. Sony’s goal is to become the third biggest mobile manufacturer after Samsung and Apple. They have some work to do as they are currently in seventh position.
This being said, it is a momentous task if you are not going to focus on two of the largest markets in the mobile world. Hirai of Sony said that they will not ignore these markets, but rather that they will not be spending huge marketing budgets on them. Sony will stick with what they do best, build the best handsets they can, differentiate the Xperia series from the average Android platform to the best of their ability and ensure the sector contributes positively towards Sony’s profits while they focus on improving their proficiency and reputation in the Android market.