Sony transformation stresses imaging as a core business

Sony says it will reinforce its development of image sensors, signal processing technologies, lenses “and other key digital imaging technologies in which it excels,” as it plans to leverage these technologies in both its consumer products (such as compact digital still cameras, digital video cameras, and interchangeable lens digital cameras) and broadcast and professional products (such as professional use cameras and security cameras) in order to further strengthen and differentiate Sony’ overall product line.

The company says it also plans to extend the use of these key technologies across a wide range of business applications, from security to medical, to further expand the scope of its digital imaging business. Sony will target total sales of 1.5 trillion yen and double-digit operating income margin from the consumer, professional and image sensor businesses by FY14.

The move come as Sony announced a series of strategic initiatives to be introduced under the new management team established on April 1, 2012. Sony is positioning digital imaging, gaming, and mobile as the three main focus areas of its electronics business and plans to concentrate investment and technology development resources in these areas.

By growing these three businesses, Sony aims to generate approximately 70% of total sales and 85% of operating income for the entire electronics business from these categories by FY14.

Other steps include “turning around the television business,” creating new businesses, accelerating innovation, and realigning the business portfolio and optimizing resources

In mobile, Sony is integrating the R&D, design engineering, and sales and marketing operations of its smartphone, tablet, and Vaio laptop businesses in order to quickly develop and deliver compelling products to market.

Sony notes it is “largely a new entrant to the medical industry,” but has launched medical printers, monitors, cameras, recorders and other medical-use products, and will target sales of 50 billion yen in this market in FY14. Sony also plans to enter the market for medical equipment components, where its strengths in various core digital imaging technologies offer significant competitive advantages in applications such as endoscopes. Furthermore, Sony plans to enter the life science industry, where the Company can leverage its expertise in technologies such as semiconductor lasers, image sensors and microfabrication.

Sony says it is also drawing on its strengths in audio and visual technologies to aggressively promote the growth of “4K” technology, which delivers more than four times the resolution of Full HD video. “Incorporation of Sony-developed technologies, such as image sensors, image processing compression LSIs and high-speed optical transmission modules into its professional-use and high-end consumer products will pave the way for Sony to continue to expand and enrich its 4K-compatible product lineup,” the company says.

Finally, Sony confirmed it will “reduce headcount” across the entire Sony Group by approximately 10,000 in FY12.