Sony has announced its fiscal Q1 2013 earnings of 1712.7 billion yen ($17.3 billion) in revenue, up 13 percent year-on-year primarily due to favorable foreign exchange rates, a rise in financial services revenue, and of particular interest — an increase in smartphone sales.
Sony said in a presentation that it sold 9.6 million smartphones in the quarter, up from the 7.4 million units it sold in the same quarter a year ago. Due to this “significant” increase in the unit sales of smartphones and an increase in the average selling price of smartphones, Sony’s mobile products and communications unit (which includes mobile phones and personal computers) posted a 36.2 percent increase in sales to 389 billion yen ($3.9 billion).
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This led to Sony recording an operating income of 5.9 billion yen ($60 million) for its mobile and PC unit during the first quarter, reversing the previous year’s loss of 28.1 billion yen in the same period.
The company’s overall operating income increased 30.1 billion yen year-on-year to 36.4 billion yen ($367 million) during the April-June quarter, while it posted a net profit of 3.5 billion yen ($35 million), reversing the loss recorded during the same quarter a year ago.
However, Sony’s games unit recorded a widening in its operating loss to 14.8 billion yen ($149 million), primarily because of an increase in research and development expenses related to the upcoming introduction of its PlayStation 4.
The games unit posted essentially flat sales year-on-year at 117.9 billion yen ($1.2 billion) due to a decrease in unit sales of PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable (PSP) and PlayStation 2. The company said sales to external customers declined 7.2 percent year-on-year.
Sony hasn’t been the most well-known Android manufacturer, but the company has made attempts to differentiate itself from its competitors by adding waterproofing to its Xperia Z smartphone — which is also a huge leap from its previous devices in design and size.
Sony’s recent unveiling of its PlayStation 4 has also met with a lot of positive response, striking a clear win against Microsoft in their next-gen console faceoff at E3 — which could help it gain back some of the revenue lost for its games unit.
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