It’s not exactly a secret that Sony has been having a few…troubles…lately. It’s also no secret that CEO Kazuo Hirai isn’t afraid to Band-Aid any business units that aren’t profitable. While a deadline of the end of 2016 was placed on Sony Mobile to return to profitability, it looks as though the battery division of Sony Devices wasn’t given such a lenient time frame. Sony has just announced the company will be selling its battery manufacturing business to Murata Manufacturing, a Japanese component company.
Right now there are no financial details to be had because the specifics aren’t expected to be worked out until October. Today’s announcement was of a “non-binding memorandum of understanding” between the two companies as a preliminary to further negotiations. Murata apparently plans to use Sony’s manufacturing operations in Singapore and China to expand its own energy business. Murata will also inherit Sony’s staff and assets.
Sony will retain production of “Sony-branded USB batteries, alkaline batteries, button and coin batteries, and mobile projectors” along with some other, as-yet undefined products. Other parts of Sony Devices including its image sensors and other components will be unaffected by the sale. The sale is expected to be finalized by March 2017.
Sony was the first company to bring a commercial lithium-ion battery to market 25 years ago
As you may remember, Sony was the first company to bring a commercial lithium-ion battery to market 25 years ago, so it truly is the end of an era. Let’s just hope the same fate doesn’t hold true for Sony Mobile. With rumors of a new flagship device to be unveiled at IFA 2016, Sony Mobile may be facing its final cross-road.
Do you hold out hope for Sony Mobile? What is your favorite Sony product?