updated 06:10 am EST, Thu January 19, 2012
Sony Ericsson announces large loss, plans for 2012
Sony Ericsson has reported a $318 million loss for Q4. The partnership, which is rapidly coming to the end of its life following Sony's acquisition of Ericsson's stake, has blamed a range of factors for the poor result. Along with restructuring charges, CEO Bert Nordberg also blamed intense competition in the smartphone space and price erosion as factors in the outcome.
"Our fourth quarter results reflected intense competition, unfavorable macroeconomic conditions and the effects of a natural disaster in Thailand this quarter. We are aligning our business to drive profitability and to meet customer needs," said Nordberg.
"In spite of these challenges, throughout 2011 we've shifted our business from feature phones to smartphones, and our Android-based smartphone sales in the quarter increased by 65 percent year-on-year. The Xperia portfolio, including the recently announced Xperia NXT series, will serve as a cornerstone of our smartphone lineup in 2012," he said, outlining the company's strategy moving forward.
A recent leak out of India has listed a number of the company's smartphone roadmap for 2012, the sheer number of which suggests that there is some substance to Nordberg's assertions. In the past, Sony Ericsson has been criticized for its lackluster Android offerings. Right at the time when Samsung and HTC were gaining momentum, Sony Ericsson was offering just a handful of models that shipped with very early versions of Android. Moreover, the company then took an excessively long time before they were updated.
Its more recent Xperia phones including the Xperia Arc S, Neo and Play were released with the more modern Gingerbread and are expected to received updates to Android 4 by the end of Q1. The recently unveiled Xperia S has also been well received. However, Samsung in particular, and HTC have a much stronger foothold in the critical US market, where Sony Ericsson has yet to make any impression on the highly competitive Android smartphone space.