Sony's smartphone struggles continue as other areas look up

The company expects all products areas except mobile to make an operating profit during its fiscal 2016

Sony's CEO Kazuo Hirai has some difficult decisions to make as consumers continue to shun the company's smartphones, resulting in continued losses.

The company on Thursday reported a net loss of ¥126 billion (US$1.1 billion) for its latest fiscal year, which ended on March 31. Year-on-year, Sony's revenue increased by 5.8 percent to ¥8.2 trillion.

Not surprisingly, Sony's Mobile Communications unit, which develops the Xperia smartphones, gets part of the blame for another year in the red.

The future of the mobile division has been very much up in question since a new head of Sony Mobile Communications was appointed in October last year. Sony has announced layoffs and pulled the plug on the PlayStation Mobile platform, but hasn't been able to turn around its fortunes.

During Sony's fourth quarter, running from January to March, revenue was flat, but the number of phones it sold dropped.

Faced with Apple and Samsung's domination of the high end and competition from new and old Chinese vendors at the low end, Sony and other companies such as HTC are struggling to get people to buy their phones. Sony was the tenth largest phone maker in 2014 with a 2 percent market share, according to Gartner.

While Sony expects all other segments to make an operating profit during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016, Mobile Communications will still record a loss, the company said. If Sony wants to turn around its smartphone fortunes, it needs to break the mold a bit more, and give away more of its content, including movies, Nick Spencer, senior practice director at ABI Research, said in a recent interview.

But it seems the company has already planned for a different future. In February, Sony announced its latest turnaround plan that will see increased spending on the games and network services division, hoping to attract more gamers to the PlayStation and its PlayStation Network.

Along with music and movies, the company is also betting on the unit that makes image sensors for smartphones. The sensors will get more funding, to be spent on research and increased production.

The company's goal is ¥500 billion in operating profit for its fiscal year to March 31, 2018. In the short term, the goal is to turn around to a ¥140 billion profit in the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2016 from a net loss of ¥126 billion in the previous year.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuessonyfinancial results

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?