Sony finally enjoyed some success in the smartphone segment during its fiscal Q2, albeit this came from sales of imaging sensors rather than its own mobile phone business which continued to struggle.
A trend by rival smartphone makers to increase the number of cameras available on their devices resulted in a bump in demand for the Japanese giant’s sensors in the three months to end-September, fuelling increases in the division’s operating income and revenue.
But its Mobile Communications unit, part of the broader Electronics Products and Solutions division, continued to see declines, reflecting an earlier reduction in its outlook for the fiscal year.
Smartphone shipments fell dramatically (62.5 per cent), from 1.6 million units in the 2018 quarter to 600,000 in the recent period.
Its Game and Network Services division also suffered, a worrying trend given recent moves by Apple and Google around streaming services. Reuters reported Sony almost halved the annual fees on its cloud-based PlayStation Now service following the close of the quarter.
During its earnings call, CFO Hiroki Totoki said the company sees more opportunities for its imaging business moving forward, citing IoT and autonomous driving applications, the news agency stated.
In the recent quarter, the imaging business generated an operating profit of JPY76.4 billion ($701.8 million), compared with JPY47.9 billion in fiscal Q2 2018, with total sales growing from JPY254.4 billion to JPY310.7 billion. Earnings from internal shipments fell JPY6.4 billion year-on-year, with customer revenue up JPY62.7 billion.
Operating income for its Electronics Products and Solutions grew JPY28.5 billion to JPY41.4 billion, though a JPY37.2 billion decline in Mobile Communications revenue to JPY77.7 billion contributed to an overall reduction of JPY64.6 billion for the business unit.
At group level, profit grew JPY13 billion to JPY200 billion, on revenue of JPY3.3 trillion, down from JPY3.4 trillion.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back