Sony selling battery business to Apple supplier

28 Jul 201639 Shares

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Sony is selling off some of its battery operations to Murata Manufacturing, in response to slowing demand for smartphones globally.

One of Apple’s suppliers, Murata will acquire various arms of Sony’s battery operations as part of the new agreement. No value has been given to the deal.

A Sony subsidiary in Japan, manufacturing operations in China and Singapore as well as “assets and personnel” from the overall Sony group (sales and R&D staff) will make the move to Murata.

Sony

Sony’s global electronics empire is pretty diversified, with major interest in everything from music equipment and gaming to software and smartphones.

However, a general slowdown in smartphone adoption, perhaps due to saturation in markets, has seen the company look to shed some of its non-vital operations.

Smartphone shipments worldwide flattened out in the first quarter of 2016, with just 0.2pc growth year-on-year, the smallest growth on record.

Murata is an electronics provider, with sensors and parts made by the company featuring in smartphones, healthcare products and other connected devices.

The ongoing growth of internet of things devices provides Murata with significant business opportunities, according to the company.

“Murata intends to position the global battery business as a core operation within its energy business in order to target further business growth and expansion,” the company said.

Business operations related to consumer sales of Sony-branded USB batteries, alkaline batteries, button and coin batteries, and mobile projectors are not expected to be included in the deal.

While Sony’s battery focus fades away, Sony’s other hardware divisions are motoring on. Earlier this year, it emerged that a surprise new PS4 would be released to coincide with an expected surge in interest for virtual reality gaming.

The company is already working on smart contact lenses that can record what the eye sees.

Main Sony image via Anton Watman/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt is a journalist at Siliconrepublic.com

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