Glimpses of old Sony: 9.6 million smartphones sold, mobile revenue up 36%

August 1, 2013
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Sony managed to obtain a profit in Q1 2013, buoyed in part by improving smartphone sales.

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Sony has been through some dire times recently – the Japanese giant recorded a massive $4.6 billion loss in the fiscal year of 2011, the worst in the company’s 66 years history.

But things are changing, albeit slowly, under the leadership of Kaz Hirai, who took the reins in early 2012 and immediately began to stir the ship in a new direction, by cutting jobs and reducing operational costs.

Those measures seem to work: Sony just announced its results for fiscal Q1 2013, which is the April-June period, and there are some encouraging signs, especially for the mobile division. Overall, Sony managed a $35 million profit, which may not seem much compared to what Apple and Samsung rake in, but is nevertheless a good performance after years of losses.

Sony sold 9.6 million phones in fiscal Q1 2013, 1.5 million more than last quarter.

According to Sony’s filings, the increased revenue (13% over last year) is partially owed to good smartphone sales and a favorable exchange rate. Sony managed to sell 9.6 million smartphones in fiscal Q1 2013, which is 1.5 million more than the previous quarter. The average selling price increased as well, meaning that Sony managed to move pricier devices that bring in more profit.

While the smartphone sales numbers aren’t particularly impressive, they are an improvement over last year that lets Sony stay close to the current third place in the market, LG, which sold a record 12.1 million units in the same period. And regardless how puny these quarterly results may seem for a company of Sony’s stature, they seem to signal that a period of sustained growth is coming.

We loved the Xperia Z, and the Xperia Z Ultra looks like a compelling, if not very mainstream device. But probably the real game changer for Sony will be the i1/Honami, which we expect to see at IFA in September. Will the i1 one bring a new period of growth for Sony? We certainly hope so.

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