Sony announced its Q2 results this morning, reporting operating income of $388m and a net loss of $198m, an improvement on the same period last year. On the mobile front, Sony revealed that it shipped 8.8 million Xperia smartphones in the second quarter to September 2012. This is up from the 7.4 million units shipped in the first quarter. The company kept its overall forecast for FY13 (twelve months to March 2013) unchanged at 34 million, versus 22.5 million in the same period last year.
This is an impressive result and would place them third in the smartphone rankings for the quarter behind Samsung (56.3m units) and Apple (26.9m units) according to a recent IDC report. It would put Sony Mobile ahead of RIM, HTC and ZTE.
Sony reports its mobile performance within the “Mobile Products & Communications (MP&C)” which also includes personal computers. Sales within this division more than doubled to $3,851m although an operating loss of $296m was reported. Before you get too excited though, the sales bump was mainly down to consolidating the Sony Mobile business during the period.
If you look at it on a pro-forma basis (assuming the Sony Mobile business was in both periods), then sales within the division was broadly flat year-on-year. However, this masks the improvement on the mobile side offsetting the decline in PC sales. On the conference call, Sony said that Sony Mobile revenues were up 16% year-on-year when looking at this division alone on a pro-forma basis. It also confirmed that it expects Sony Mobile to be profitable on a standalone basis during the next fiscal year (twelve months to March 2014).
Sony reiterated that its strategy on the mobile side is to “deliver attractive products to the market more quickly, streamline supply chain management, and to enhance marketing, by strengthening its product development and operational capabilities”. It also warned that growing sales and improving profitability of the smartphone business were “pressing issues for Sony”.
One thing that intrigued us during today’s conference call was that towards the end, CFO Masaru Kato was fielding a question from an analyst asking about the mobile sell-through and Kato replied “the software we are planning to launch towards the end of the year, we are really hopeful that it will be successful.” We’re not entirely sure what this software refers to – could it be Jelly Bean or some other proprietary UI? Something to keep an eye on.
Thanks Aaron and Max!