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PlayStation sells well (again), but mobile is hurting Sony

It's not just Sony's phones that aren't selling. A decrease in demand for smartphones is hurting its imaging sensor sales too.
Mat Smith, @thatmatsmith
January 29, 2016
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Sony made money. Again! The company saw in tiny increase (0.5%) in sales compared to the same quarter last to 2,581 billion yen (or $21.5 billion), but income now stands at $1.69 billion. This quarter's financial results was yet more balancing (and canceling) out of Sony's many moving parts -- profitable and not. Gaming and Motion Picture arms saw increases in sales, but these were cancelled out by woes in Mobile and Devices arms. Once a positive part of the company's earnings sheets, Sony's smartphone camera sensors saw a decrease in sales -- reflecting the tough times that all companies are experiencing with phone sales. The company seems to be stabilizing its giant electronics ship.

Sony says operating income increases were apparently was due to refining and cutting across Sony's various electronics arms. (Read: less smartphone models, less TV models, better products). The company's restructuring costs have also started to tail off: this year charges cost $61 million — roughly a 50 percent drop.

Firstly, mobile: Sales decreased 14.7 percent compared to the same period last year — Sony says this is borne out from it's decision not to pursue scale in mobile phones for profitability, and why operating income improved significantly for the section. A significant decrease in image sensor sales is where Sony felt the bite most this quarter. Camera sensor sales to other smartphone manufacturers dropped by 12.6 percent year on year. This resulted in a quarterly loss of $97 million, compared to a profit of $445 million the period before.

A significant decrease in image sensor sales is where Sony felt the bite most this quarter.

Cameras saw a sales decrease of 5 percent, yet operating income increased, thanks to what Sony says is a better mix of cameras and video cams. Cost reductions and a better selection of products was also heralded for $260 million income increase in Home Entertainment — despite a sales decrease of 4.3 percent.

In all things PlayStation, the company saw a 10.5 percent increase in sales, now reaching $4.9 billion. Compared to Q3 last year, income was also improved,as the arm didn't have to pay for a write-off of Vita hardware which happened last year. How will the gaming arm fare now it has some degree of autonomy? Or was it all just a grand paper shuffle?

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