According to a rumor, Sony’s mobile division will be ceasing all operations and pulling out of offices in Turkey, the Middle East, and Africa. The rumor comes from celebrated and leakster and Venture Beat reporter Evan Blass, and simply states that Sony will “shut down its operations and offices” by October.
Bad news for Sony Mobile fans in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa: I'm hearing that the company will "shut down its operations and offices" in the region by October.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) June 27, 2018
If true, this certainly doesn’t mean good news for Sony. A major company like this pulling out of areas can only mean that sales are failing and that consolidation is the aim of the game to try and keep the most major sales areas afloat. Sony’s own analysis of its mobile department’s performance has laid the blame purely on its own inability to improve its line-up fast enough and seems to presume that falling smartphone sales are the outcome of its own failings.
Looking at the wider market, it’s clear that Sony’s mobile division no longer has the sort of oomph it may have once commanded. The IDC’s quarterly report for the first part of 2018 failed to mention Sony’s phones at all, and it’s obvious that the Xperia brand is somewhere south of big names in the business in terms of sales. Sony had been sluggish to adapt to the new trend for trimming bezels on smartphones, and we had originally hoped that 2018 would see a design refresh that would put the looks of the Sony Xperia brand back up with some of the best looking phones out there.
Alas, while the redesign happened, it wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for. The much awaited “Ambient Flow” design hasn’t hugely changed the dated look of the Xperia smartphone. While phones like the Xperia XZ2 are impressive, the still rather chunky bezels let it down, at least in our eyes.
Sony wouldn’t be the first of the smartphone industry’s big dogs to have to pull out of specific regions, as LG was forced to pull out of China in February. With smartphone sales plateauing, and even the biggest companies on the block starting to worry about the future, Sony isn’t likely to be the last company to look at cost-cutting methods in the face of a new world.
We have reached out to Sony for comment and will update this story if we hear back.