Is it time Sony gave up on its loss-making phone division?
Sony’s range of smartphones have, let’s face it, not been the runaway success the company would have hoped for. And while Sony has today forecast record annual operating profits of $5.6 billion (£4.2 billion), there’s one black mark that the company can’t ignore. After having to write $1.7 billion off their mobile division’s value back in 2014, the company still refuses to put their mobile division to rest. While CEO Kazuo Hirai has miraculously turned the company’s fortunes, it may be time to rethink Sony’s place in the smartphone market, and the latest earnings report makes the case pretty plainly.
The company has made an astounding $18.25 billion in revenue and thanks to varying factors, earned a tidy quarterly net profit of $1.15 billion. Sony has gone through a slim-down shape up, truly focusing on what the company is good at, and it seems to be paying off. The company had initially forecast profits of 500 billion yen back in March, and there are two departments to thank for Sony’s success: their image sensor division and their PlayStation division. Their motion picture business, Sony Pictures, while not showing off as strong sales as the other two divisions, is delivering a healthy profit thanks largely to the new Spider-Man flick. Sorry Emoji Movie.
The PlayStation division, with huge sales in games and consoles, has brought in $484.3 million, while the semiconductor division in charge of image sensors raked in an operating income of $436.6 million.
The missing link, however, is easy to spot. The only division to lose money was, unsurprisingly, the mobile division. Although Sony’s mobile division made a small profit last year, this was largely down to restructuring and cost-cutting. This time around, it was a whopping loss: $22.1 million to be exact. While Hirai is continuing to slim Sony down, it’s probably time for him to think about just cutting the fat off and doing away with their mobile division altogether.