Sony losing smartphone battle to Apple, Samsung | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 18.09.2014
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Business

Sony losing smartphone battle to Apple, Samsung

Sony Corp shares have plunged sharply on both Tokyo and New York markets after the company announced losses in its smartphone business. Sony admitted its competitors came up with more innovative technologies.

Sony’s share prices dropped more than 10 percent in Tokyo on Thursday, which is their biggest drop in more than 10 months. Earlier, the prices also slid nearly 7 percent in New York.

The Japanese consumer electronics maker had warned a day earlier it would post a net loss of 230 billion yen ($2.1 billion, 1.63 billion Euros) this fiscal year, more than four times its earlier forecast, contributing to Thursday's plunge in share prices.

Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai attributed his company’s possible loss on other firms’ new offerings with innovative technologies.

"The environment is changing and becoming more severe," he told reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Samsung and Apple have put significant pressure on Sony in the smartphone business. On Friday, Japanese customers will become first time users of the newly launched iPhone by Apple, which is sending its trademark products to seven other countries on the same day.

Later on Wednesday Sony also made announcements of its plan to cut about 1,000 jobs and scrap its dividend for the first time since the company was listed on the Tokyo stock market in 1958.

Future plan

After taking office in 2012, Sony chief executive Hirai launched a restructuring process, which included layoffs and exiting the personal computer business. Since then the company issued a string of downward earnings revisions.

Despite huge loses in the TV business, Hirai said they will not abandon their television unit and emphasized that the medium remains central to Sony's core business.

Rather Sony would continue to focus on more profitable areas ranging from portable music to movies and insurance, added the Sony boss.

zh/dr (AFP, Reuters)

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