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Sony is actually selling more smartphones than it did this time last year

2021 is turning out to be a good year for the Japanese firm.

Published onOctober 28, 2021

Sony Xperia 1 III vs Sony Xperia 5 III backs stood up
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Sony’s smartphone division is showing early signs of recovery.
  • Per the company’s latest earnings report, smartphone revenue grew by ~25% in Q2 2021.
  • The revenue bump was the result of an increase in smartphone unit sales.

Sony‘s smartphone division is still well down on the lofty form it showed in the late 2000s. In recent years it has struggled to gain a firm, profitable foothold in the market, but it seems its current strategy and focus on higher-end devices could be paying off.

According to Sony’s latest earnings report, its mobile communications segment enjoyed higher revenue figures in 2021 versus 2020. The company’s mobile division racked up 99.1 billion Japanese yen (~$871.6 million) in fiscal Q2 2021 versus 79.1 billion Japanese yen (~$695.7 million) in the corresponding period in 2020. The company also confirmed this revenue bump was the result of an “increase in unit sales.”

Impressively, this bump comes amid a global semiconductor shortage, which has already led to some OEMs slashing their shipping numbers.

How does this performance stack up against previous quarters? In Q1 2021, the mobile division saw a 12.8 billion Japanese yen (~$112.6 million) loss compared to Q1 2020. It fared even worse in Q2 2019 compared to Q2 2018, with a 37.1 billion Japanese yen (~$2.4 billion) retraction registered over this period. Notably, 2020 was the first year since 2017 in which it turned a profit, and 2021 is seemingly continuing that trend. Mobile communications saw a 7.1 billion Japanese yen (~$469 million) bump in fiscal H1 2021 compared to a year prior.

While it’s arguably too early to call it a complete recovery, it does seem that there’s light at the end of the tunnel for Sony’s smartphone division. But with its recent fixation on premium, niche devices, can it again break into the market as a significant player? That’s a question that might take a few more financial quarters to answer. For now, Sony’s strategy of cutting costs while buffing the baseline price of its products is working wonders for its bottom line.