Sony’s fight to stay relevant in the ultra-competitive smartphone market has taken another turn for the worst after it scaled back its expectations on the amount of devices it expects to ship this year.
The company now expects to ship 41 million smartphones in the current fiscal year, which is a drop down from the 43 million it predicted in July and even further away from the 50 million projected in April.
For the three months to September the company’s mobile arm did bring in ¥308.4 billion [£1.73 billion] in revenue, which was up 1.2 per cent on the previous year, although this was hit by a ¥176 billion [£985 million] write down on the mobile business’ value.
Unfortunately there had to be a fall guy and Kunimasa Suzuki, who has led Sony Mobile as president and CEO since April 2012, is being replaced by Hiroki Totoki, who was previously a senior VP responsible for corporate planning. The move, which was announced by the firm earlier this week, sees Suzuki take a back seat role as an executive VP at Sony Entertainment and he will eventually move up to a group executive role next month.
The company as a whole posted a net loss of ¥136 billion [£761 million] for the period, an operating loss of ¥85.6 billion [£475 million] and the one bright spark was the PlayStation 4, which contributed to a sales increase of 7.2 per cent for Sony from an 83.2 per cent revenue increase in its gaming business.
Sony’s woes in the smartphone sector will be a bitter pill to swallow considering the sheer number of Xperia devices that have been flooding the market over the past 12 months.
It also comes in the same week IDC figures on the worldwide smartphone market illustrated the progress being made by Chinese manufacturers with Xiaomi [5.3 per cent share] now the third largest vendor behind Samsung [23.8 per cent] and Apple [12 per cent].