Sony CEO Kaz Hirai

After announcing a "goodwill impairment charge" yesterday that sees Sony's losses mounting to $2.1 billion for the annual year, the handset vendor has mentioned that it is looking to restructure its electronics arm. The first stage involves cutting 1,000 jobs from the mobile division, which amounts to 15 percent of the unit's total workforce.

Sony CEO Kazou Hirai stated in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that he has no plans of relinquishing his role.

"I am deeply sorry for shareholders and I, as a president, am taking this situation very seriously. I'd like to take responsibility by finishing implementing structural reform efforts in this fiscal year and returning the company to profitability in the next fiscal year."

One of the major reasons for Sony's failure to meet its smartphones sales targets is due to a rising threat from Chinese brands like Xiaomi, which offer a similar set of features for a fraction of the cost.

Asked if Sony would exit the smartphone market entirely, Hirai said that mobile segment was still vital to the company as a whole:

"We believe mobile is still an important business for us, along with gaming and imaging. We still see plenty of room for the industry."

Instead of going head-to-head with these Chinese brands, Sony will now focus its mobile efforts in the high-end segment. Sony's mobile chief Kunimasa Suzuki shared a similar sentiment in a recent interview:

"Sony won't compete in price ranges where the customers no longer recognize the Sony brand, and where we can't charge for a Sony brand premium."

Another factor that contributed to Sony's downfall was its inability to enter the US smartphone segment. Although Sony offers its wares on T-Mobile, and is set to offer the upcoming Xperia Z3 on Sprint, the smartphone vendor is yet to make a flagship device available on all four carriers. Suzuki believes that this is an area Sony will be focusing on in the future:

"It is obvious for us that we need to keep investing into the U.S. market. Step by step, I think we will be able to grow our U.S. market share."

Do you think Sony can turn things around by increasing its presence in the U.S. market? Let us know in the comments.

Source: The Wall Street Journal