Sony to Cut 1000 Jobs at Mobile Phone Business
After taking full control of its mobile phone joint venture with Sweden's Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson earlier this year, Sony Corp. (6758.TO) said Thursday it plans to cut about 15% of the business's workforce, or about 1,000 jobs, to reduce costs and accelerate its push into the growing smartphone market.
The importance of smartphones can't be underestimated for Sony. Not only is demand growing at a breakneck pace, the versatile devices are starting to eat into markets for products such as music players, digital cameras and portable game machines.
As Sony's mobile business has struggled to eke out a profit in the last two years, the company squandered an opportunity and has ceded the lion's share of the booming smartphone market to Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.
According to research firm Strategy Analytics, Sony had about 4% of the global market for smartphones in the first quarter of 2012, compared to Samsung's 31% and Apple's 24%.
The Japanese electronics manufacturer sees the sector as a pillar of its turnaround plan under new Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai. In February, the firm paid 1.05 billion euros to Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson to take full control of the 50-50 joint venture in order to increase its focus on smartphones.