Confirmed reports of Sony looking to dispense with its long-lived, once leading-edge but no longer successful and profitable battery business sounded like bad news not just for the conglomerate’s components and semiconductors departments.
Other flagging divisions, including mobile communications, aka smartphones, could be in danger, as Sony stops relying on perennially prosperous gaming, home entertainment and pictures branches to offset financial losses posted by Xperias quarter after quarter.
Only for the first time in years, the restructured, condensed, non-Z-focused mobile device portfolio managed to yield a profit between April and June 2016. Not a moment too soon, although Xperia phones are hardly completely out of the woods.
Sales are still down, by a massive 33.7 percent year-on-year even, while the $4 million (0.4 billion yen) gained of late can’t simply balance previous impairments of hundreds of millions of dollars. Case in point, the now abridged product family lost a whopping 22.9 billion yen in the April – June 2015 timeframe alone, a grand total of 61.4 billion yen ($544 million) in the fiscal year ended March 2016, as well as 217.6 billion yen the year before.
Bottom line, this is a very small step in the right direction, which Sony needs to follow with a few extra big ones to keep Xperias afloat. Overall, the company just posted a rosy-sounding $205 million net income on sales of $15 billion, significantly down however year-over-year due primarily to the impact of recent Kumamoto earthquakes.