Sony to phase out feature phones by September

May 23rd, 2012 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, May 23 (IANS) Sony Mobile Communications (India), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese technology giant Sony, has decided to phase out feature phones (non-smart mobile phones) by the end of September to focus solely on the fast-growing smart phone segment, a company official said Wednesday.

“The smart phone segment is growing by a compound annual growth rate of nearly 70 percent. We as a company want to focus only on this segment. By the end of September this year, we plan to phase out all our feature phone models,” the company’s managing director P. Balaji told reporters on the sidelines of a programme here.

“The decision to phase out feature phones was taken a few quarters back and is being implemented now. There are six-seven feature phone models of the company in the market currently,” said Balaji.

The company’s cellular arm - Sony Ericsson which was a joint venture with Sweden’s LM Ericsson - October 2011 became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Japanese company.

The company, which launched its smart phones under the Xperia brand, owned by the erstwhile Sony Ericsson, will continue to use the brand to market its products.

“Though volume wise, smart phones contribute only 10 percent of the sales, value wise their share is nearly 40-45 percent. We, therefore, want to tap the huge potential of this segment,’ added Balaji.

The company, which imports its products from three manufacturing units in Japan, China and Mexico, ruled out setting up a production unit in India.

The company also unveiled three new models of its smart phones.

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