Like HTC and other formerly large smartphone manufacturers, the Japanese Sony group has almost completely disappeared from the market. Despite years of declining sales, Sony announced at the beginning of September that it would continue to develop and sell smartphones, even if this division only generates negligible revenues. According to a article from Welt.de, this is justified by the fact that Sony needs the knowledge gained during the development of smartphones for other business areas.
If we weren’t building smartphones, it would be difficult for us to gain the technology we need to understand, for example, what 5G wireless technology means and what services and devices it enables.
Mitsuya Kishida, President of Sony Mobile
In summary, the smartphones for Sony are currently only a means of promoting other business areas in which the company continues to be one of the world’s leaders. In addition, it is intended to maintain the contact with mobile phone companies that will be needed if Sony wants to sell more smartphones in large quantities in the future.
The recently published business figures also confirm the trend that has been evident for a long time. While 900,000 Sony smartphones were sold in the third quarter of 2018, the figure for the third quarter of 2019 was only 600,000 units worldwide. Overall, forecasts predict that 2.5 million smartphones will be sold in 2019. Sony sold 13.5 million devices in 2017 and 6.5 million devices in 2018.
As a result of the continuing decline, Sony has now announced that a number of smartphone services can no longer be offered for cost reasons. This concerns the Sony gallery app “Album”, whose Amazon backup function was already terminated on 31.03.2019. In addition, Sony is deleting the e-mail function, which has no longer received a smartphone from the company since Xperia 5. As an alternative, the company recommends the use of Gmail and Google Photos.