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Sony to reduce suppliers to speed up product development: Nikkei

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[March 20, 2014]  (Reuters)  Sony Corp <6758.T> will reduce by about three-quarters the number of its parts suppliers to speed up development of its electronic products, the Nikkei reported on Thursday.

Sony, which currently has about 1,000 suppliers, plans to reduce the number to buy cutting-edge components on a preferential basis through larger order volumes, the newspaper reported.

Sony aims to save nearly 10 billion yen ($98.5 million) through bulk purchasing, according to the Nikkei.

The Japanese consumer electronics maker plans to select two or three major global suppliers for core components such as wireless communication parts, sensors, chips and display panels, the newspaper said.

The list of suppliers is likely to include Qualcomm Inc <QCOM.O> and Taiwan's MediaTek Inc <2454.TW> for smartphone chips, Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd <6981.T> for multilayer ceramic capacitors and Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp <2409.TW> for liquid crystal display panels, the business daily reported.

Sony cut the number of its suppliers to 1,000 in fiscal 2013 from 2,500 in fiscal 2008 to reduce costs.

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The new plan is aimed at shortening the typical two-year development period for new products by three-six months, the Nikkei reported.

($1 = 101.55 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Rohit T. K. in Bangalore; editing by Kirti Pandey)

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