Sony took the wraps off its fiscal Q1 2013 earnings on Wednesday, most notably showing solid growth in the smartphone sector. It moved 9.6 million smartphones in the first quarter of financial year 2013/14, up from 7.4 million year-on-year, according to numbers released in a slide to investors.
The "significant" sales of 9.6 million smartphones brought $3.9 billion (£2.5 billion) in revenue for Sony's mobile products and communications division, up 36.2 per cent year-on-year. Thanks to the sales and changes of the value of the yen, net income was $60 million, improving on last year's significant losses.
The growth came from new smartphones released by Sony in the period, including its flagship Sony Xperia Z and other smartphones like the cheaper Sony Xperia ZL.
For the Sony corporation as a whole, revenue sat at $17.3 billion, up 13 per cent year-on-year. Net profit came in at $35 million, and while not a huge gain, was better than losses reported a year ago.
Ahead of the PlayStation 4 launch this autumn, revenue and income in the gaming division of Sony have fell short. The company reported an operating loss of $149 million for the quarter in the games unit. It sold just 1.1 million home consoles, PS3 and PS2, and just 600,000 handheld consoles, PS Vita and PSP.
The latter may be impacted directly by consumers waiting for its next-generation system, while the latter may pick up after the launch of the PS4 as the PS Vita will have remote play functionality whereby games can be streamed from the new console to the handheld to play around the house. It will act, therefore, as a companion device.