Sony has set its sights on taking the smartphone bronze medal behind industry leaders Apple and Samsung, however it faces tough competition from its Chinese rivals like Huawei and ZTE.

To do this the company is looking to alter its development for each market it enters, which could lead to a variety of mobile phones in different countries.

At a roundtable briefing in Tokyo, head of mobile business Kunimasa Suzuki hinted that cheaper products could be made available in developing nations.

In the next fiscal year, which begins on April 1st, Sony is hoping to sell more than 34 million smartphones. It is hoped that the performance of its mobile business will help to revive Sony's fortunes after four straight annual losses, with demand for TVs dwindling thanks to market saturation.

Ace Securities Analyst Hideki Yasuda told Bloomberg that Sony needs to hit the 50-million mark in order to be the third biggest smartphone retailer. Failure to do so could see it "fade and become irrelevant", he added.

Posted by Claire Marshall

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