Sony released its results for its Q3 FY2020 fiscal period, which represents the three months to the end of December 2020. After a small respite in Q2 FY20, which saw Xperia smartphone shipments stabilse, the company once again experienced a reduction in units sold in the latest quarter. Sony shipped 1.0 million Xperia smartphones during the quarter, representing a fall of 23% over the same period in the prior year.
While it is concerning that the company’s unit sales continues on a downward trend, it is encouraging that despite this, the company’s financials are actually doing okay. While volumes were down nearly a quarter, revenues were almost level with last year at 111.1 billion yen (Q3 FY19: 113.5 billion yen), down by only 2 percent.
This performance is reflecting that ASP’s for Xperia phones have been increasing markedly over the last couple of years. In fact, when you look at the last quarter alone, Xperia ASP’s are up by 27% year-on-year to c. £775/€900/$1,060, highlighting Sony’s main revenue generators are likely to be its flagship Xperia 1 II and 5 II series devices.
One of the big criticisms against Xperia smartphones is price, but judging by the latest data, this is something that is working for Sony. They seem happy to offset the volume decline against aiming to reach profitability.
On that basis, operating income for the mobile division was 21.3 billion yen in the quarter, up significantly on last year (7 billion yen). This isn’t all down to higher ASP, Sony has been cutting operating costs for a while now, and this is also likely to have an impact on the bottom line.
Sony has not guided on what sales/operating income it expects to achieve for the full year, but from the numbers delivered to date, it’s on course to be profitable on a full year basis. If it can achieve this, it would reverse years of losses for the division.
While many question Sony’s strategy on smartphones, you have to hand it to Sony that at least it is making money on these phones. Therefore, for those of you hoping Sony will price its phones more competitively, it looks like that’s not part of Sony’s plan any time soon.
Thanks Diogo and Moses!