Tokyo: Once an iconic brand, Sony is now going to slash its mobile division workforce by half by 2020 in the wake of stiff competition and poor sales.
The move could result in roughly 2,000 staffers either losing their jobs or getting shifted to a new department at Sony.
"Sony's share of the smartphone market has fallen sharply in recent years - from more than three per cent in 2010, according to the research portal Statistica, to less than one per cent currently.
"It has struggled to compete against leaders Apple, Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies, all of which are racing to develop new 5G devices," the Nikkei Asian Review reported late on Friday.
The Tokyo-headquartered company would cut smartphone sales in Southeast Asia and other areas to focus on markets like Europe and East Asia.
"The company's smartphone sales for fiscal 2018 are projected to come in at a dismal 6.5 million units, half the previous year's figure and just one-sixth that of five years ago.
"In fiscal 2014, Sony pulled 1,000 employees from its smartphone operations but sales have plunged faster than expected, necessitating a further round of cuts," the report added.
Some of the Japanese employees hit by the decision would be transferred to other divisions in the company, but the firm would offer voluntary retirement in its Europe and China operations.