Sony Ericsson to go smartphone-only in 2012

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Swedish manufacturer makes commitment for next year as it breaks even in third quarter with sales almost flat year-on-year

Sony Ericsson will move its entire portfolio to smartphones in 2012 as profits broke even in the third quarter, with sales almost flat year-on-year.

The handset manufacturer made no profit in the three months to September 30, 2011 but that was an improvement on the £43.7 million loss made in the previous quarter. However it was still down on the £42.9 million it made at the same period last year.

Sales for the quarter were £1.39 billion, very slightly down on the £1.4 billion made in Q3 2010 so almost flat year-on-year. This represented a 33 per cent increase compared to the previous quarter.

Income before taxes was £27.1 million, up from the £36.7 million loss made in Q2 but a 50 per cent drop year-on-year.

Sony Ericsson shipped 9.5 million units in the three month period, a nine per cent decrease year-on-year that the company said was due a decline in feature phone shipments, partially offset by an increase in smartphone shipments.

However the quarter’s figure was a 25 per cent increase sequentially, which Sony Ericsson said was due to the higher volume of smartphones shipped.

Android-based Xperia smartphones (such as the Play, Arc S and Neo pictured) now account for more than 80 per cent of sales, with 22 million Xperia smartphones shipped to date.

Sony Ericsson estimated that its share of the global Android-based smartphone market during the quarter was around 12 per cent in volume.

Average selling price for the quarter was £145, up eight per cent year-on-year and six per cent sequentially. Sony Ericsson said the year-on-year increase was due to the shift to smartphones and geographic mix despite a negative effect from foreign exchange rates.

Sony Ericsson president and CEO Bert Nordberg said: “We will continue to invest in the smartphone market, shifting the entire portfolio to smartphones during 2012.”

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