Sony’s mobile business division continues to dwindle, as the company has announced further streamlining of its Xperia services.
It’s no secret that Sony has been struggling in the last few years and is no longer the behemoth it used to be. In the third quarter of 2019, it sold only about 6,00,000 smartphones globally, much lower than its already-readjusted sales forecasts. Simply put, Sony Xperia smartphones haven’t been selling as well as the company had previously anticipated and is thus a loss-making sector of business. The Sony Xperia 1 and the slew of other 21:9 smartphones evidently weren’t enough to initiate a turnaround.
It’s already in the process of scaling back its mobile-related operations, exiting markets such as the US and India. In hopes of further cutting down operating expenses, Sony has announced that it will be shutting down some of its proprietary services, which were explicitly designed for Xperia devices. Changes will come into effect in the coming months.
The Sony Email app will no longer be supported on Xperia devices, for devices starting from the Sony Xperia 5 and later. It will not be available on the Google Playstore either.
The Software update newsletter, which is emailed to users when new software updates are available on Sony Xperia devices, will also be discontinued starting December 16, 2019. Users will be directly notified of new updates directly on their devices.
Also facing the axe is the support for Backups(powered by Amazon) in the Sony Albums app. This functionality will be dropped on March 31, 2020, in a new update that will arrive. Even if users choose not to update their gallery app, the Amazon Backup feature will no longer work.
It’s disheartening to see Sony slowly die in the competitive smartphone landscape. There are quite a few reasons for this downfall — lack of innovation, non-competitive pricing, no focus on growing markets, etc. It will be interesting to see what Sony's mobile division has planned for the coming months in hopes of survival.