Up to 2,000 workers could lose their jobs as Sony struggles to make a profit by 2020

Sony Xperia 10
Sony Xperia 10 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

It has been yet another disappointing year for Sony's Mobile division with worldwide shipments expected to decline for the third straight year. Not only is that bad news for Sony, but also for its employees, as Sony looks to reduce costs by laying off up to half of its 4,000 workers in the mobile division by 2020.

The move to reduce its workforce could see up to 2,000 employees lose their jobs. Sony plans to offer Japanese employees the opportunity to be transferred to other divisions, while employees in Europe and China will be offered voluntary retirement. Another change Sony is making is limiting phone sales in South East Asia, and instead focusing on the East Asia and European markets.

After generating a little over 4 million dollars in revenue with its smartphone business, Sony is still operating at a loss for the third straight year. With these new strategies to reduce fixed costs by up to half, it is hopeful to turn a profit by 2020. Even though worldwide shipments of Sony phones are expected to decline to around 1.3 billion units in 2019.

Sony has never been a major player with its mobile devices, holding only 3% of the market in 2010 dropping to less than a measly 1% in 2019 according to Statistica. Smartphone sales for 2018 alone are projected to be in the range of 6.5 million units, which is half of the previous year and one-sixth as many sales as five years ago.

Those numbers pale in comparison to companies such as Apple, Huawei, and Samsung who own nearly half of the smartphone market, with mostly Chinese vendors rounding out the rest of the top ten. At this point though, Sony isn't looking to compete with them and is rather just hoping its mobile division can turn a profit.

Jason England
  • "1.3 billion units in 2019." So they're selling in one year more than the iPhone ever sold? XD (It's a funny typo though). Sony in 2014 was the 3rd largest European OEM after Samsung and Apple. Then they decided the Z3 would be their last good phone. And here we are.
    They want to refocus on Europe? With the likes of the Xperia 1? Someone didn't send them the memo that in Europe their popular line was the Compact one, clearly. Or they did and, in typical Sony fashion, they think they know better.
    At any rate, at this point Sony is trying to save the Titanic by taking out the water with buckets.
  • Surprised to see someone was doing worse than HTC.
  • I'm surprised too, actually. But Sony phones did not seem to have much appeal outside of fans. Same could be said of HTC, but the difference is HTC can put out hardware that can compete with Samsung and Apple. When a device has a camera that toes the line with Pixel, performance that tops Samsung, and build quality that makes iPhones feel inferior, the only reason for failure is marketing, and HTC is famous for poor marketing. Well, reviews that focus on one problem don't help, but it's mostly marketing, lol.
  • The Z3V was decent but every other Sony phone since then has been "meh".
  • Every phone from XZ Premium to date is better than Z3. Current lineup of phones is the best Sony has every made.