Sony closed down their e-reader business in 2013 and the PRS-T3 marked the last consumer product they ever released. The President and Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai proclaimed that the company is getting out of the smartphone and television business and focusing on game development for the Playstation, streaming music and camera sensors.
If all goes to plan, Hirai predicted, Sony’s operating profit could increase by a healthy 25% over the next three years. However, in the process it could leave Sony’s product range looking very different than it does today.
Sony has seen their market share for smartphones continuously erode from cheaper Asian rivals as well as industry leaders like Apple and Samsung. The smartphone unit is looking at a yearly operating loss of 215 billion yen ($1.83 billion), adding another 11 billion yen to this estimated loss it projected in October 2014.
In order to reduce costs in the smartphone division Sony recently axed 1000 positions and another 1100 jobs will be lost, in a bid to reduce annual operating expenses.
The exiting of the phone arena could effect e-book and e-reader company Kobo. When Sony got out of the e-book and e-reading business they transferred all of their customers to Kobo. Part of the agreement was that the Kobo Android App would be pre-loaded on all new smartphones and tablets. Since Sony is getting out of this space, this means that Kobo will not be able to attain new customers at the same rate as before.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.