‘Foldable phones could be the future’
Japanese electronic consumer goods maker Sony Corporation has lined up several changes.It will soon get out of laptop business, for instance. India is one of its biggest and growing markets and ranks 4th for the company worldwide in terms of sales, pegged at around ` 8,000 crore.
Sony India managing director Kenichiro Hibi was in Chandigarh on Friday to launch a new channel for Bangalore-based Sangeetha mobiles. HT caught up Hibi.
Why are you exiting the laptop business?
Kenichiro Hibi: The market for laptops is stagnant. In some geographies, demand is falling. This is a strategic decision and will be in force by June. Our energies could be better used.
Did Sony miss the smartphone wave?
No, but we might have been a little late. However, we now have a 10% share in the segment from 3% just two years ago. (I cannot give you figures).
What about gaming and the response to PlayStation4?
This is one of the areas we are keen on.
There is a perception that PS4 prices itself out of the market, with the full-version (with addons) costing up to ` 60,000.
Not true. We do have the PS3 available for less than
` 20,000. Remember, we are a premium brand.
Do you make wearable devices?
We already retail a watch that allows you to send e-mails and surf the net, which works using Wi-Fi and it costs around ` 13,000.
Indians want bigger screens, but smaller devices. Is this a viable proposition?
As a company, we are aware of the trend, but productwise this requires a lot of research.
What is the next technology wave apart from smart phone?
My guess is that with cloud storage coming into play, foldable devices (mobile phones) could well be the future, over the long-term. We have the technology. Commercial viability is key.