Sony reported its fiscal first quarter results for FY2019 earlier today (3 months to 30 June 2018), and unfortunately for us Xperia fans, prospects aren't looking great for its mobile division. Sony Mobile only shipped 2.0 million phones during the quarter, versus 3.4 million in the same period last year.
This the lowest number ever for Sony Xperia smartphones – it did ship 2.0 million phones back in the same quarter in 2010, but it only kick-started its Android journey part way through that quarter. In addition, Sony was only looking to ship 10 million phones this year, and it has now lowered the forecast to 9 million phones due to "severe competition" in Europe and Japan.
However, the tone going forward doesn’t paint a rosy picture for Sony smartphones. Sony says that this "severe competition could continue to adversely affect the smartphone business" and that further downward revisions to full year forecasts are possible.
Sony has being trying to establish a set up so that it can generate stable profit with shipments of around 10 million Xperia units. For now, Sony is sticking by this but said that "whether we should accelerate such a policy implementation or not is something we will further verify in the process of working on the countermeasures (to severe competition)".
Sony once again admitted that "product competitiveness is still lagging behind the top class competitors", which continues to be a challenge for the company. It will be interesting to see if and how Sony can try and turn the mobile business around.
In a way, this news is not surprising. Sony Mobile has alienated some of its core fan base with the introduction of the 2018 models. The new design hasn’t resonated well, and losing practical features like the headphone jack was the nail in the coffin for many fans. What is your view? Are you happy with Sony’s current mobile hardware? If not, what does Sony need to do to turn things around? Please let us know in the comments below.
Thanks Diogo, Lewis, Vishwa Nath and Yuri!
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