Sony Mobile decides to globally phase out feature phones

KOLKATA, May 23: Sony Mobile Communications, the global leader in android technology-based phones, will phase out the production of all feature phones by September this year to cater to the growing demand for Smartphones among the mobile phone users.
This was announced by Mr P Balaji, Managing Director, Sony Mobile Communications, India, while talking to newsmen after the launch of the company’s three latest Smartphones of ‘Xperia’ brand here today.
In view of the stupendous growth in demand for Smartphones across the globe, we have now decided to gradually phase out all the seven or eight models of our feature phones from the international markets, including those in India, by September end this year, Mr Balaji said and hoped that the entire gap(to be crated after the withdrawal of feature phones), would be bridged by the arrival of smartphones of different price ranges, starting from Rs 10,000 each.
Providing a wholesome picture of the global as well as Indian mobile phone markets, which had been growing phenomenally at the rate of over 65 to 70 per cent per annum, Mr Balaji said of more than 1.5 billion mobile handsets being sold worldover every year, as much 40 per cent of them were android-based smartphones.
Similarly, about 15 per cent of nearly 15 million handsets being sold in India every year now, were Smatphone, and the number kept on increasing every day, Mr Balaji pointed out.
However, in terms of value these smartphones comprised about 40 per cent of the total sales, he said.
On whether the Japanese electronic giant was planning to set up any manufacturing hub in India to meet the growing demand not only in the country but in the entire developing world, Mr Balaji replied in the negative.
‘Since the matter is dictated entirely in terms of financial gains, we have no such plan,’ he said and made it clear that Sony India would continue to outsouse their entire range of smartphones from its three international production hubs in Japan, South America (Mexico) and China.
Mr Balaji also refused to shed any light the Sony Mobile Communications plan to join hands with any other international player after writing off its collaborative partnership with Swedish giant ‘Erricson’ a few months ago.
Referring to the future of smatphones in India following the rolling out of as many as 25 to 30 different models by different manufacturers like Nokia and Samsong apart from Sony, Mr Balaji said today’s launch of three new models – Sony Xperia-U for Rs 17,399,Sony Xperia-P for Rs 25,799 and Sony Xperia Sola for Rs 20,449 – was likely to open a new vista in the technological advancement of Android based smartphones.
He, however, refused to make any comment on the possibility of bringing in a few more models of similar phones later this year, saying the decision in this regard was taken at the globally top executive level of the three billion USD company.
Mr Balaji also refused to share the sales figure of the company both at the gobal and at the domestic level. (UNI)


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