Sony thinks after the smartphone: an admission of failure on the present?
"Go beyond today's smartphones." This is the new goal of Sony, the reason for Kaz Hirai not to throw in the towel on the telecom sector. This is a lucid position, given that smartphones are not really an area in which Sony has won.
Xperia smartphones: quality and conservatism
One can not say that the Japanese giant has failed. After all, Sony is still firmly anchored in the smartphone market. Its telephony business has always been able to survive, with terminals often very good, and Sony remains the supplier of choice of manufacturers for quality photo sensors.
However, it is nice to find smartphones from Sony convincing, since the Xperia Z3 Compact, we really frankly to quote one that really brings something unique. And that's probably one of the reasons why Sony has always struggled to stand out: because there is always someone more audacious and aggressive. The Xperia range still has its audience and Sony remains the only manufacturer, excluding Apple, to offer a real high-end smartphone small. And we expect a lot from the future Xperia XZ Pro. But against Samsung, Sony's smartphone division does not play in the same category.
PS4: an example to reproduce?
And quarter after quarter, this success of esteem continues to contrast sharply with the product on which Sony has been bold and completely turn the tide: the PS4. Moreover, if we exclude the relative failure of the PS3 and - I come back - of its portable consoles, it's the entire PlayStation range that reminds how often it seems to be two Sony. That of the PlayStation that hits the thousands of generations of young adults, systematically cutting the grass under the feet of its competitors, and one who gently follows the trend. The PS4 is a triumph, totaling to date more than 73 million consoles sold. Although sales have slowed, Sony remains largely leader.
The telephony market is obviously different from that of the video game, but it is surprising that Sony did not know how to capture it - excuse the word game - better than that. And if Kaz Hirai seems to be making sense when he talks about focusing on the future, the problem is what is this hypothetical "after smartphone".
The after smartphone: Sony dreamed, Google and Amazon have done?
Is it artificial intelligence? Augmented reality? Voice assistants? Are Google, Amazon, Microsoft or Apple not already in the ranks? The words of Kaz Hirai are quite disconcerting in reality. The CEO of Sony gives the impression of staying active in case something happens and when he says he wants to be sure "not to stay in the smartphone market itself, but more broadly in the telecommunications market", the wording is vague enough to draw the interpretations we want.
And this is the paradox of Sony: a company in very good health, but we always wonder if it still has an eye on the future, or if it is not a little outdated by an evolution that escapes him . Or too early with an unsuitable product: while the firm has abandoned the idea of portable consoles, Nintendo is a full box with his Switch. So, after the smartphone could very well be a new category of products, as a refocus on complementary products like wireless audio where the manufacturer always excels. As their slogan says, it's all about believing it, and doing it!