Sony Mobile exits India following fierce competition

Sony Mobile exits India following fierce competition

Rishabh Pachory


The appeal of smartphones in India is constantly growing and with that, so is the smartphone industry. Each company has to face several challenges and other companies to get on top of the chain and now, since Sony Mobile was unable to keep up with the times, they have decided to exit the smartphone game in India. The major chunk of the competition seems to be coming from manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Huawei and a few more.

Sony had less that 0.01 per cent of the total Indian smartphone market share in the first quarter of 2019, according to Counterpoint Research. Sony Mobile, however, said that it would continue to monitor the market situations and business feasibility in the country.

"Our focus markets are Japan, Europe, Hong Kong and Taiwan to drive profitability and future prospects in the 5G era," Sony Mobile said in a statement on Wednesday. "We have ceased sales in Central and South America, the Middle East, South Asia, Oceania, etc. in FY 18," it added.

The company assured that it would continue its customer support operations including after sales support and software updates for existing customers in India.

The Indian smartphone market is currently dominated by Chinese players like Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo and OnePlus among others, besides South Korean tech giant Samsung.

According to Shobhit Srivastava, Research Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems, Counterpoint Research, the pressure from Chinese brands and Samsung in the major price segment resulted in continuous decline of sales for Sony.

"With declining sales in India and other markets, Sony took the right decision to focus on the high ASP (average selling price) markets such as Japan," Srivastava told IANS.

Last year, in July, Sony India brought its flagship "Xperia XZ2" smartphone for Rs 72,990 to the country that turned out to be its last launch. The launch was rather feeble and did not manage to capture the interest of the mainstream audience.

"In a cut-throat market like India where Chinese smartphone brands rule the roost with industry-leading specs and having over 60 per cent market share, it's tough for other brands to garner a meaningful revenue share. Sony has had a very miniscule market share in India," Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, said.

For Sony, the performance of its mobile business has lacked the sheen, and has been a clear outlier compared to its other divisions.

"It makes sense for it to cut its losses and refocus on other verticals," Ram added.