Sony loses on phones and mobile components, but wins big on gaming to post healthy quarterly profit
Another financial report from a tech giant, another classic good news/bad news scenario. This time, it’s Sony that’s trying to retain an optimistic outlook on the mobile hardware industry, encouraged by the strong recent box-office performance of its game and network services division, as well as the pictures department.
PlayStation 4 unit sales were the main growth driver for the Japanese conglomerate between October and December 2015, although it also certainly helped that Spectre and Hotel Transylvania 2 didn’t lampoon any dictators with a strong hacking fan base.
On the not so bright side of things, revenue generated by Xperia phones and tablets decreased almost 15 percent year-on-year, which is an even more worrying result when you consider the mobile communications business hasn’t been doing very well for a long time now.
But Sony insists this latest decline was at least in part intentional and controlled, yielding from a “strategic decision not to pursue scale in order to improve profitability.” In other words, there were fewer Xperias in circulation this past quarter, but they brought in more money per unit, resulting in $200 million operating income.
That’s far less than what PlayStations and PlayStation games earned in the year-end 90-day timeframe, and also south of financial figures posted by TVs and audio products. Then again, it’s way better than what the “Devices” segment generated, which was operating loss of nearly $100 mil and a sales dip of 12.6 percent.
Semiconductors and components are accounted for there, mind you, including the image sensors that kept surging when everything else was going down. At the end of the day though, Sony pulled in a hefty $1 billion net income attributable to stockholders in calendar Q4 2015, so it should be able to afford the occasional smartphone or component loss.