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Sony reports surging revenue as its mobile division continues to drown in red ink

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Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Sony released its results for its financial first quarter, and though the company as a whole posted strong numbers, its mobile division continues to sink deeper into the ocean.

As a whole, the Japanese firm reported a quarterly revenue of $14.5 billion, only down 0.1 percent year-on-year. In addition, thanks to Sony’s recent restructuring, profits rose 39 percent to $780 million for the quarter, surpassing analyst expectations.

The positives continued for Sony’s music, gaming, and image sensor businesses, which saw substantial growths during the quarter. The music division saw an income increase of 173 percent to $256 million for the quarter, while the gaming division, bolstered by the PlayStation 4, was up 350 percent to $157 million. Finally, Sony’s image sensor business was up 164 percent to $244 million, making these divisions the top money makers for Sony.

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Unfortunately, Sony couldn’t say the same about its movie and mobile businesses, with the former posting a $94 million loss for the quarter. Meanwhile, the mobile division saw a deeper loss for the quarter, reporting $184 million in losses. The bad news continued to roll in for Sony’s mobile division, which also reported a 16 percent drop in sales year-on-year.

According to Sony, its mobile division struggles were due to a “strategic decision not to pursue scale in order to improve profitability.” From Sony’s language, it seems like the company expected such losses for the division, though it’s unknown whether Sony can stem the tide and prevent further losses. The Xperia Z4 wasn’t exactly received with open arms in Japan, with the Xperia Z3+ seemingly receiving a similar reaction in Europe. It’s doubtful the Xperia Z4V, announced for the United States will set the world on fire, either, so things aren’t looking too bright for Sony’s struggling mobile division.

Combine recent layoffs at a Sony location in Sweden with the fact that its slew of smartphones seemingly haven’t caught on with the general public, and we have to wonder whether Sony’s days as a smartphone maker are numbered.