Skip to main content

Sony reports $280M net profit in Q2, but mobile sector continues to struggle

sony one megapixel two millimeter sensor
360b / Shutterstock
Following the trend of Samsung and LG, Sony reported a small profit in its second-quarter financial report, but its mobile business showed poor returns. The Japanese firm noted $280 million in net profit, and $14.5 billion in total revenue.

Compared to this time last year, Sony is showing signs of recovery. In the second quarter last year the firm reported $785 million net loss, alongside a $1.5 billion write off for the mobile division.

Consolidation has been the key for Sony in mobile, lowering the amount of products launched and produced this year significantly. That has led to a 15 percent decrease in mobile revenue, down to $231 million. The division is still unprofitable, reporting a loss of $172 million this quarter, but that is a lot better than the $1.5 billion it had to suffer in 2014.

Sony confirmed earlier this month that it would not sell the mobile division, but other reports claimed that a lack of profitability next year might force the company to change its tune. Chief executive Kazuo Hirai refuted the possibility of Vaio-style sale anytime in the near future.

Outside of the mobile business, Sony continues its upward trend. The entertainment sector reported $3 billion in revenue — a 16.5 percent year-on-year growth — alongside $199 million profit. PS4 game sales were the main contributor to the revenue growth.

In the components sector, Sony reported $1.5 billion revenue and $215 million in profit. Sales are up 4.1 percent year-on-year, but the real shocker is the 29 percent profit growth in the sector, fueled by the company’s popular 21-megapixel camera and being the main supplier of Apple’s iSight camera.

Similar to most in the industry, Sony is struggling to keep investors excited about its mobile business, when it could be focusing time on more profitable sectors. Nokia, in contrast, sold its mobile business to Microsoft in 2013 and has been showing large profits ever since.

Editors' Recommendations

David Curry
Former Digital Trends Contributor
David has been writing about technology for several years, following the latest trends and covering the largest events. He is…
Sony’s fiscal year report confirms no PS5 launch before March 2020
Sony PS5 PS4 release launch fiscal year report analysis sales

After a wave of theories, predictions, and leaks, the official rollout for Sony’s next home console has begun. System architect Mark Cerny started things off with a tease of the console’s hardware in a Wired interview, and now, via the company’s report on the 2018 fiscal year, we know that the PlayStation 5 won’t launch before spring 2020.

Analysis of the forecasts in Sony’s consolidated financial results led us to conclude that the PS5 won’t be launching before the close of the 2019 fiscal year and The Wall Street Journal’s Takashi Mochizuki confirmed as much with Sony. We know that the company will be dishing out lots of money for advertising when the PS5 launch is set in stone and a specific element Mochizuki points toward is the lack of an increase in marketing cost for the 2019 fiscal year, which is the time between April 2019 and March 2020. 

Read more
Most Sony studios reportedly shifting focus to PlayStation 5
White PS4 under white DualShock 4 controller.


Sony didn't hold one of its annual PlayStation Experience events at the end of 2018, and the company recently announced that it would not be attending E3 this coming June, either. We assumed this was because many of its upcoming games would be released on an unannounced PlayStation 5 console, and a new report appears to confirm this.

Read more
Sony could be working on a screen-equipped PlayStation controller
best gaming console

The PlayStation 4's DualShock 4 controller features a touchpad for controlling games, but it appears that Sony could be preparing for something a little more advanced in the future. A patent recently granted to the company strongly suggests a touchscreen-equipped controller is in the works, and its design sounds pretty familiar.

Filed back in September 2017 and granted on October 16, Sony's patent is for a controller that features an "extension" on either side of the controller's "main body," with a touchscreen located in the middle. The language makes it sound like it could look similar to the Nintendo Switch with Joy-Con controllers connected on either side, though it's possible that the extensions mentioned in the patent are merely the two handles found on previous PlayStation controllers.

Read more