updated 10:10 am EDT, Fri October 17, 2008
Sony Ericsson Q3 2008
Sony Ericsson highlighted the mounting problems for incumbent phone makers on Friday with news of its summer quarter results. The carrier shipped a total of 25.7 million phones in the period, which ended in September; the figure is a slight 5.3 percent boost to its numbers from the spring but a slight loss from the same season a year earlier, dipping from 25.9 million phones in summer 2007.
The company has also reported a net loss equal to $33.7 million for the quarter and notes that the amount is both a drop from an $8.1 million profit in the spring as well as a significant reversal from the company's performance a year ago, when it generated nearly $359.5 million.
Sony Ericsson describes the results as "expected" and explains them as it has in previous quarters, asserting that shifts in phone sales to the lower end, as well as increased competition in Europe and elsewhere, are reducing the company's income and market share at the same time.
The reduced numbers give Sony Ericsson just 8.3 percent of the world cellphone market for the summer, according to Nokia estimates of 310 million phones shipped across the whole industry. While an increase over spring's 8.0 percent, it should represent a decrease from summer 2007. Sony Ericsson itself expects less still at exactly the same spring figure.
In spite of the decline, the cellphone maker has reasons to believe its results should improve in the fall. The company has just recently begun shipping the XPERIA X1, which stands as its first Windows Mobile phone, first full touchscreen device and first more direct competitor to very media centric touch handsets like the iPhone or the BlackBerry Storm just announced for Verizon, Vodafone, and multiple Canadian carriers.
Sony Ericsson also says it remains in the middle of a restructuring effort to improve the company's operations themselves and that it would have reduced or eliminated its losses without those expenses.