Sony's smartphone focus shifts to Japan, Europe, says CEO

Kazuo Hirai says that, for now, his company will attempt to appeal to customers in Japan and Europe rather than in the US and China.

Sony chief Kazuo Hirai holding one of his company's smartphones.
Sony chief Kazuo Hirai holding one of his company's smartphones. CBS Interactive

Sony's attempt to reassert itself in the smartphone market will start outside the US.

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai told reporters on Friday that his company's smartphone-related resources will be dedicated to Europe and Japan. According to Reuters, which was in attendance at the talk, Sony's smartphone division has no big plans for the US and China.

"It's not realistic to try to do everything at once," he said, according to Reuters. "In the US, we'll start gradually."

Hirai's decision is not necessarily surprising. Sony has little market share in the US or China, but has been able to at least make a dent in Europe and Japan, its home country. Mobile was cited earlier this year by Hirai as one of the keys to reviving the slumping Sony, but so far, the effort has been slow going.

Just about every other major smartphone maker is trying to establish a foothold in the US and the increasingly lucrative Chinese market. Hirai ostensibly hopes his mobile plans could help Sony gain ground in area his competitors might be overlooking.

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