updated 10:15 am EDT, Fri July 16, 2010
Sony Q2 ends months of declining phone shipments
Sony Ericsson ended the week on a positive note by recording a rare increase in the number of phones it shipped. The company moved 11 million phones in the spring; the number was still a decline from 13.8 million a year ago but up from 10.5 million in the winter. Its revenue also saw an uncommon year-to-year increase as it climbed slightly to the equivalent of $2.28 billion.
Profit was tighter than at the start of the year, at just $15.58 million versus $27.27 million, but was much better than the $276.58 million loss of spring 2009.
The company could almost exclusively credit the return to form to its newfound focus on smartphones. The Android-based Xperia X10 had a much wider release and was joined by the Symbian-running Vivaz series. Both the X10 mini and X10 mini pro were also "well received," Sony Ericsson said.
Some of the improvement in the past two years has been attributed to large-scale job cuts that cut about 4,000 jobs, or more than a third of Sony Ericsson's entire staff. The layoffs and other cost-cutting is near the end but could save Sony Ericsson over $1.14 billion in costs that were making it impossible to avoid losing money in recent years.
Despite the increase, Sony Ericsson believes its market share stayed flat and sat around four percent in the spring. It still expects to grow the number of units, though not necessarily its relative share, in the rest of 2010.
Whether or not Sony Ericsson holds on to share is uncertain. The fastest growing platforms, Android and iPhone, have often ended up taking share away from Sony Ericsson in growth spikes and together have had some of their largest releases this summer. Within the Android space, it has to compete against HTC and Motorola, both of whom have usually fared better now that the majority of their devices use Google's OS.