Sony to revamp product development to challenge Apple, Samsung

Sony to revamp product development to challenge Apple, Samsung

Summary: According to reports, Sony is revamping part procurement to take on the biggest names in mobile device development.

TOPICS: Apple, Samsung
Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 09.52.01
Credit: ZDNet | Ben Woods

Sony is revamping product development and part procurement in an attempt to take on Samsung and Apple in the mobile and consumer realm.

According to Japanese publication Nikkei, the electronics giant currently buys parts for its consumer products -- including cameras, smartphones, and mobile consoles -- from roughly 1,000 suppliers. However, the Japanese firm plans to "work more closely" with the top suppliers in the list, and so will soon begin acquiring parts from only 250 of these manufacturers.

After selling off its PC business, such a move may help Sony snag top parts on a preferential basis, in large volumes, as well as speed up overall product development. The problem Sony faces, according to Nikkei, is that the firm is in direct competition with rivals Apple and Samsung for top parts.

"Sony is said to spend almost 2 trillion yen ($19.5 billion) a year on parts procurement. But rivals Samsung Electronics and Apple reportedly shell out more than double that amount, and bulk orders give them precedence in receiving high-performance components," the publication says.

The Japanese publication states that Sony must bring innovative products to market ahead of other companies to get back in the game -- and a way to do this is to exchange information with suppliers from the product planning stage and work with fewer numbers.

Nikkei states that Sony's part procurement overhaul will change how its consumer products perform, and Sony "plans to select two or three major global suppliers for each of 10 or so core components," including sensors, chips, and display panels. Suppliers reportedly of interest to Sony include Qualcomm and MediaTek for smartphone processors, and AU Optronics for LCD panels.

In February, Sony reached a deal with investment fund Japan Industrial Partners to sell its PC business and Vaio portfolio. The move was touted as a restructuring effort which determined the PC and television business is no longer a profit driver for Sony, and by selling them off, the company is free to focus on mobile technology development.

Topics: Apple, Samsung

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  • To Sony innovation means

    bringing out weird hardware that doesn't work with anyone elses' hardware, then pushing it through even if it means the technology will be DOA. Just imagine the usefulness of HDDVD as an inexpensive computer backup medium if Sony hadn't killed it off by forbidding their movie company from issuing content on HDDVD. If Sony can take the chip off it's shoulder, they can survive. Not likely.
    Tony Burzio
    • Also Means

      Innovations at Sony also means to sell it off just when it just gets started. They were making some of the most innovative hybrids/convertibles on the market. I have a Flip 15 with the high resolution display. There is nothing on the market like it. HP and Dell are not even close. Supply is not keeping up with demand and it keeps being sold out.
  • Sony has made some great technology

    but like Apple has had a proclivity for proprietary standards - blu ray, minidisc, memory stick, UMD and so on.
    • The difference is many of Apple's proprietary technologies...

      ...actually had a benefit and increased their market share. Sony's just flounder and and fail.
  • Let the games begin

    If there is someone that can go against Apple is definitely Sony.
    People will always want more for less money but now a days, the looks of an object replace its abilities.
    We shall wait.