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Sony slips in rankings of top laptop makers

Last updated on: June 7, 2012 13:12 IST

Sony slips in rankings of top laptop makers

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Viveat Susan Pinto in Mumbai

After wresting the top slot among consumer laptop makers in the quarter ended December 31, beating the likes of Dell and HP, Japanese giant Sony has slipped to the third position in the quarter ended March 31.

The fall in market share, from 20 per cent to 16 per cent, has come at a time when the company has been aiming to boost its numbers in India to see the market here rise into its top-five club.

India is sixth in Sony's pecking order of markets after the US, Japan, China, Brazil and Russia. The Japanese major is increasingly counting on the Indian market, where its revenue rose about 16 per cent for the year ended March 31.

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Photographs: Steve Marcus/Reuters
Tags: Sony , Dell , Japan , Brazil

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In markets the world over, the company has recorded losses for five straight quarters. For 2011-12, Sony recorded an annual loss of $5.7 billion, while annual sales fell about 10 per cent to $81 billion.

India, however, bucked the trend, with Sony saying it was aiming for growth of about 30 per cent in revenue for the year ending March 2013. Its net sales for the year ended March 31 stood at Rs 6,313 crore (Rs 63.13 billion). The company does not disclose its net profit.

The consumer laptops segment accounts for the most (20 per cent) of Sony's revenue in India, second after the share of flat-panel televisions, which contribute 35 per cent to the revenue.

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Photographs: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters
Tags: Sony , India

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Sony's managing director in India, Masaru Tamagawa, says a combination of price rises and supply constraints hit sales in the quarter ended March 31. This, in turn, hit market share. "The fight between the three of us (HP, Dell and Sony) is a close one. We should recover from this in the coming months," he said.

For this, the company has prepared a blueprint, which involves expanding its range of laptops, as well as aggressive marketing and distribution.

In the last two years, Sony launched laptops for Rs 25,990, much lower than earlier prices of about Rs 40,000.

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Photographs: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

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Tamagawa says the company would focus on these products, as it looks to bring more consumers into its fold.

"From 20 per cent, the contribution of VAIO (Sony's brand of laptops) is expected to rise to 25 per cent, in terms of overall sales for Sony India this year," said Tamagawa.

This year, the company plans to add 500 dealers to its list of 4,000, as it looks to boost sales, while expenditure on marketing has also been increased to Rs 90 crore (Rs 900 billion).


Photographs: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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