Sony to phase out feature phones


12 Jan 2012
Reaction score
Sony Mobile to phase out feature phones from India by September

Sony Mobile Communications is phasing out its entire line of feature phones in India by September in step with its unalloyed focus on smartphones, a top company executive with direct knowledge said.

"Since we've transformed into a smartphone company from a feature phone player globally, we believe the future is in smartphones. We've decided to pull out all feature phones from India by September as a demonstration of that focus," Mr P. Balaji, managing director of Sony Mobile Communications India said on Wednesday.

At present, Sony Mobile has seven-odd feature phones in circulation in India, which are all priced in the Rs 7000-to-Rs 8000 range. "Our research tells us people are willing to pay more for a smartphone to enjoy genuine mobile internet experience. We expect the trend to get stronger as 3G data services become more affordable and gain traction," said Balaji.

However, he clarified that Sony Mobile had no plans to manufacture smartphones in India, claiming present volumes did not justify an immediate investment in a greenfield unit. "Though appetite for smartphones is growing, they still account for a modest 10 % of the 150 million mobile phones sold annually in India.

The volumes are too tiny at this stage to justify a local manufacturing decision..the economies of scale are just not there," claimed Balaji. At present, Sony Mobile Communications manufactures mobile phones in Japan, China and Mexico and has an R&D centre in Sweden. Balaji also claimed that pure qwerty phones were disappearing across world markets, including India, as mobile users were increasingly getting hooked to touch phones.

"Sony Mobile no longer has pure qwerty phones in circulation in India, although we have two models combining qwerty and touch functions that are selling well," he said. The Sony Mobile Communications India head was in Kolkata to launch three smartphones -- the Xperia U, the Xperia P and Xperia Sola -- which are priced at roughly Rs 17K, Rs 26K and Rs 20K respectively.

"The three new smartphones come with a distinct user experience and a set of features available at different price points so that consumers have more to choose from," said Balaji. ends

-Economic Times
Top Bottom
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock