Sony is distinguishing itself in the Korean market while other Japanese IT companies are withdrawing their business. Toshiba and the PDP TV business unit of Panasonic closed down in Korea in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Meanwhile, Sony is continuing its business successfully here, particularly in such fields as the production and sale of digital media content, earphones, headphones, cameras, and camcorders.
According to market research firm GFK, Sony enjoyed the highest market share of earphones and headphones in Korea for the last three consecutive years. As of the first half of this year, its share amounted to 50%. It topped the mirror-less camera segment between 2011 and 2012 with a market share of 50.9% as well, while increasing its presence in the camcorder market from 52% to 59% and 74% between 2010 and 2012.
Such excellent performance has resulted in a significant increase in the sales of Sony Korea. Last year, its turnover soared 44.7% from a year earlier to 1.2732 trillion won (US$1.1842 billion). Although operating profits dropped by 8.2% year on year, it succeeded in surpassing the one trillion won mark in sales.
Industry experts are praising the company in that its accomplishments in the Korean market are a result of strenuous efforts to survive fierce competition. “The brand of Sony has been well-received by many Korean consumers for a long time since the Walkman era, and it has maintained high quality standards to be able to continue its business here unlike Toshiba, Panasonic, and Motorola,” said one of them, adding, “If it is to achieve more though, it will have to expand its service networks, lower the product maintenance costs and reduce its reliance upon a small number of mania-oriented products with more popular ones.”