Sony Mobile is losing its independence and thats a good thing. The division will be combined with Sonys TV, audio and camera products into a unit called Electronics Products and Solutions.
The company presents this as a move to increase the synergies between various Sony electronics the Xperia line already borrows heavily from the TV and camera divisions (especially evident in the latest Xperia 1 flagship).
For what its worth, Sony will keep reporting the financial performance of its Xperia smartphones. Still, some worry that this is an attempt to hide the losses from the mobile division by grouping it with Sonys more successful units.
Sony Mobile has been struggling in recent years, it sold 13.5 million units in all of 2017 and predicted 7 million for last year. All of this comes with massive financial losses, over $913 million during the last four quarters. For comparison, the TV and audio division brought in $714 million in operating profit, the camera division took in $804 million during the same period.
The division has been trying to reduce costs to counter the mounting losses. The target is to cut spending by 50%. Sony believes that Xperia phones could start turning a profit in 2021 at the earliest.
The Xperia division is working on 5G connectivity not just for the phones, but for use in other Sony products as well. About a year ago, former CEO Kaz Hirai said that keeping the phone division alive was a strategic move so that the know-how can benefit Sonys products as a whole. New CEO Kenichiro Yoshida echoed that sentiment. By the way, Hirai has announced his retirement after 35 years at Sony.