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Sony targets rural markets with small screen units

MUMBAI: Electronics major Sony will target rural markets with its new small screen TV panels and a strengthened sales network in these areas.

Last year, Sony launched an affordable range of panels of 22-inch size in order to tap tier II, III and IV markets. Giving a boost to that, it has now expanded its sales network to over 10,000 distributors to cash in on the opportunities.

Sony India MD Kenichiro Hibi told PTI, “Last year, Sony had launched its first 22-inch product, aiming to adapt those upcountry area, which was quite successful. Now, we have 24-inch also. 22-inch and 24-inch TV could really cultivate the upcountry market. Those are the big markets.”

Presently, Sony has two TV models each in 22 and 24-inch categories with the price going up to Rs 17,900. The company’s Bravia range of TV sets range from Rs 13,900, going up to Rs 1.7 million.

Elaborating on the potential of smaller towns and villages in the country, Hibi stated, “If we look at the country side, customers are going for their first LCD TV but due to budget issues, cannot afford big screens. So, they are going for smaller entry range of 22-inch TVs.”

Hibi also spoke about Sony’s Xperia range of mobile phones, which needs to be improved by strengthening its portfolio.

“Sony has a big room to grow in the market (handset) as our market share is only 10 per cent in this segment as compared to 30 per cent of TV. There is big room for improvement. First, we are strengthening our portfolio, suitable to the Indian customers and strengthening its distribution,” he added.

The report further added that around 75 per cent of the company’s revenue came from Bravia range of TVs and Xperia range of mobile handsets.

Sony is also expecting that the market share of Alpha series of professional cameras would increase further.

When asked about the company’s plans for the car audio segment, Hibi said that it is in talks with several auto firms.

“We are in talks with several car producing companies but there are lots of quality sync issues. It is not happening yet but we are talking with majority of the big brands.”

In addition, Sony is trying to expand into two more categories, headphones and Bluetooth speakers and mobile related accessories.