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Sony to open first new smartphone factory in 20 years

Sony Mobile has announced it will be opening its first factory in 20 years following disappointing first quarter figures.

The struggling smartphone maker posted an operating loss of $188 million at the end of its first fiscal quarter on June 30 and revenue declined by 16.3%.

This led to speculation over the future of Sony Mobile and all bets were on the company selling off its smartphone business.

But it seems that Sony isn’t calling it quits just yet. As the Asian business publication Nikkei reports, the firm is to open a new phone factory in 2016.

The factory will cover “chip mounting through assembly” and is to be set up inside an existing site in the Pathum Thai province of Thailand.

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The revelation follows Sony Mobile CEO Hiroki Totoki’s promise during an interview in July that the company “will never ever sell or exit from the current mobile business.”

Sony will initially invest “several billion yen” in the new project which will begin mass production in fiscal 2016 and is expected to produce several million units a year.

The Japanese firm reportedly holds 17.5% of the smartphone market in Japan, and less than 1% in North America.

Time will tell if the new investment will turn Sony Mobile’s fortunes around, but if sales continue to decline despite renewed investment, the division could be in real trouble next year.

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