Sony won't exit smartphones because of IoT strategy

Sony Mobile CEO says the company won't exit the smartphone market even though the competition is tough. Why? Sony sees the smartphone as a bridge to other Internet of things devices.

Sony Mobile CEO Hiroki Totoki said the company won't ever exit the smarthphone business, but the real news revolves around the why.

Totoki gave an interview to Arabian Business and most folks ran with the headline that Sony won't ditch the mobile business. For fans of Sony's Xperia line of smartphones the news is welcome, but then again what else would Totoki say?

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Let's face it: Totoki has to say he's committed hell or high water to the smartphone business or no one would buy the devices. So Sony will play ball even with competition from better positioned players such as Samsung, Apple and low cost China rivals such as Xiaomi.

More importantly, Totoki said Sony has to stay in smartphones because it's a key part in a larger Internet of things strategy.

Smartphones are completely connected to other devices, also connected to people's lives -- deeply. And the opportunity for diversification is huge. We're heading to the IoT (Internet of Things) era and have to produce a number of new categories of products in this world, otherwise we could lose out on a very important business domain. In that sense we will never ever sell or exit from the current mobile business.

Simply put, the smartphone serves as a hub for other devices. Today, that connection is real. Smartwatches don't function well without smartphone connectivity. Sony is hoping a mobile foothold leads to other things.

Totoki said:

We've got a good feel for the technology and we're not limited to the smartwatch. We include smart wear, smart products, and smart devices, and there are many more things now being made for the IoT (Internet of Things) era.

Like everything with Sony the primary issue boils down to one word: Execution.

Totoki's interview reveals that competition and costs are key issues for Sony. And that won't change anytime soon whether it's smartphone, smartwatches or any other newfangled wearable effort.