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(Pocket-lint) - Sony Mobile has revealed that its smartphone sales have performed below expectations for the last three years and they have steadily declined in that time.

It admits that one of the reasons is that it has not improved its products quickly enough, relying on minor changes year-on-year rather than the more significant enhancements enforced by its rivals.

Its phones embraced thinner bezels and dual cameras long after other companies' devices.

Sony Mobile's future plans were also revealed as part of the firm's mid-term corporate strategy.

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As shown in presentation slides posted by Xperia Blog, Sony will focus more on growth in Europe and the rise of 5G network services going forward.

"Project Europe" shows that the manufacturer will seek strategic partnerships with operators across the region. And its strategic direction for 5G will stretch across the whole of Sony's product line-up, including its cameras, televisions and PlayStation 4.

Live data transmission, it says, will be the bedrock for both streaming and distributing content.

With Chinese phone manufacturers rapidly entering European markets with cost-effective devices, it seems that Sony will be aiming more at the premium end of the market in order to capitalise in the adoption of 5G.

What this means in actual handsets is yet to be seen.

Writing by Rik Henderson.