A new DigiTimes report states that Sony's mobile division is set to ship 65 million smartphones during its 2014 fiscal year. That would be a more than 50% increase from the 42 million smartphones it is expected to ship by the end of the current fiscal year (March 2014).
The report's unnamed "sources in the vendor's supply chain" stated that Sony will be increasing its component orders accordingly. Orders from Taiwan-based manufacturers are projected to increase by around 50%.
The report also has two additional interesting claims. One is that Sony is still working on the Firefox OS smartphone that has been rumored for months. The device would be released in emerging markets, where the operating system is expected to compete with low-cost Android devices. The other claim is that Sony will branch out from Qualcomm and put out devices with MediaTek processors.
If true, Sony's shipment increase could represent wishful thinking. The manufacturer's Xperia smartphones compete in the crowded high-end smartphone market, where Samsung's Galaxy lineup currently rules and even well-reviewed devices such as HTC's One have failed. Its lower-cost devices could do well in emerging market such as Brazil, China, and India, though competition there will be fierce as well. Another factor to consider is that Sony is set to expand its PlayStation Mobile software alongside the launch of its PlayStation 4 video game console this November. If the console sells well it could create demand for the entire Sony product ecosystem, making Sony's high shipment expectations for smartphones somewhat justified.
(Image courtesy Sony)