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Is Sony's smartphone business finally turning a corner?

Sony's Q3 2020 results show that it managed to stop the decline in Xperia smartphone sales.

Published onOctober 29, 2020

Sony Xperia 1 II front display
David Imel / Android Authority
  • Sony has reported stable year-on-year smartphone shipments in Q3 2020.
  • This marks the first time since 2017 that it was able to maintain shipments year-on-year.

Sony’s mobile business has endured a torrid time in the last few years, seeing ever declining smartphone shipments and constant losses. This necessitated restructuring and also saw the company retreat from several markets.

It looks like the company’s efforts to arrest the decline are starting to bear fruit though, as Sony reported relatively stable year-on-year smartphone shipments in Q3 2020 (h/t: Xperia Blog).

Sony only reported 600,000 smartphones sold in the quarter though, being dwarfed by the likes of Apple and Samsung selling millions of devices during this same period. But this marks the first time since Q2 2017 that it’s been able to maintain year-on-year shipments if not grow it.

Sony’s strategy seemingly gaining momentum

The Japanese company previously reported 800,000 smartphones sold in Q2 2020 compared to 900,000 units in Q2 2019, suggesting that the Q3 results are due to the strategy rather than being a one-off result. The firm launched the high-end Xperia 1 II and mid-range Xperia 10 II during this time, and we praised the flagship in our review. The phone also resurrected the headphone port and offered a dedicated Pro camera app for enthusiasts.

It’s worth noting however that the Xperia 5 II was announced in Q3 but only goes on sale in the US in December, while European users got the device from mid-October. So this means we’ll need to wait for Q4 to see whether the latest flagship phone made a similar impact.

Nevertheless, it’s too early to say whether Sony got its groove back, but it certainly looks like the manufacturer has some momentum on its side. Hopefully the Xperia 1 III or whatever Sony’s next flagship is called continues the trend of encouraging results.

Next: Sony Xperia 5 II review second opinion — Heading in the right direction

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