Sony has released its fiscal second quarter results for FY2020, which includes the performance for the three months ending 30 September 2020. Sony shipped 600,000 smartphones during this quarter, and the good news is that this is the same number of phones shipped at this point last year. Whilst in the context of other manufacturers this might be faint praise, it’s great to see Sony stem the declines we’ve seen quarter after quarter for the last three years at least.
The Xperia 1 II and Xperia 10 II smartphones were released at the start of this quarter, so the launches would have helped the mobile business to avoid a further shrinking. Sony has not given any forecasts of what it expects to achieve for the full year, but at the current run rate, it is due to ship around 3 million units, which is in line with last year.
For the Electronics Products & Solutions Segment (EP&S) overall, where Sony includes its mobile numbers, sales increased by 2% compared to last year which was driven by higher TV unit sales. The forecast operating income for the division for FY20 has been revised up to 67 billion yen (from 60 bn yen), but this is mainly due to favourable exchange rates rather than higher unit sales in its EP&S division.
Sony remains cautious on the EP&S segment due to the COVID-19 pandemic – it says it has seen a recovery in demand for home audio and video products as people stay at home. However, it is operating the business with “extreme caution” given the unpredictable continuing situation around a resurgence of COVID-19. It will further accelerate management of the segment as one entity as it continues to build a business under even more severe circumstances.