Sony: We need to be more 'customer focused'

Sony will be boosting its research and development in cloud computing, display panels and aim to be more customer-centered, according to reports.

In the midst of slumping television sales, Sony will be boosting its research and development in cloud computing and display panels, Bloomberg reports.

Today in Tokyo, an executive vice president in charge of technology strategy and research, Shoji Nemoto, said in a group interview that the company needs to focus "more on customer needs and not be so inward-looking".

Moving its gaze to mobile devices, the VP said that Sony "won't hesitate" to buy in outside technologies if it could help boost declining profit margins in the modern consumer market.

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The company said it plans to spend 470 billion yen ($6 billion) on research leading up to the end of the fiscal year, which is an increase of 8.4 percent based on last year's figures. However, this is down from Sony's peak research spending of 544 billion yen ($6.93 billion) in 2007, based on figures collected by Bloomberg.

Sony should spend more research on energy-related components and products, Nemoto continued. In addition, television sets appear to be downgrading in priority, as in April CEO Kazuo Hirai listed mobile devices, games and digital imaging as top priorities for Sony's future.

The technology giant has lost roughly 714 billion yen ($9 billion) on television sets over the past eight years as consumer trends and demand turned away from its products.

Sony plans to move its headquarters from Sweden to Tokyo, which will result in roughly 1,000 job losses. In addition, recent reports have suggested that the firm will be exiting the  optical disc drive business by the end of March 2013.

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