Sony’s recent financial report paints a pleasant picture for the future of the company on the surface, but its smartphone division has reported a downturn in sales, a worrying sign for a company that is only barely hanging onto relevance in the mobile market. However, the PlayStation appears to have saved the day.
For mobile, Sony reported a 14.7-percent decrease in sales compared to the same time last year, but over double the operating income. The company said it had changed tactics and was focused on operating profit rather than churning out large numbers of devices, thus lowering the amount of smartphones launched during the year. While an operating profit is great for investors, it doesn’t help boost the Xperia brand.
Sony’s component business also noticed a large decline in sales, down 12.6-percent, which it claims is due to the downturn in the mobile industry. It’s predicting things will be different from 2016 onwards, particularly in image sensors. Sony currently controls 40-percent of the market here, and sells to Apple, Huawei, and many other manufacturers. It has recently put together a deal with Toshiba to buy its camera sensor factory, increasing its hold on the market even more.
Television sales were flat for the past three months, a situation it says is strategic, due to pursuing profitability instead of scale. Camera sales were in the same boat, with the division reporting a decrease in sales but an increase in operating profit. Other divisions seeing an increase in sales and profit include Sony Pictures and Sony Music.
PlayStation continues to be the shining star for Sony, with a 10-percent rise in sales nearing $5 billion. It also reported a 45-percent rise in operating profit, thanks to a large increase in software sales over the past three months. The gaming division is starting to become Sony’s success story. It recently announced 30 million PS4 sales, and consolidated its many PlayStation divisions into one, named Sony Interactive Entertainment.