Sony operating profits set to quadruple, aided by iPhone camera sensor orders

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2015
Based in large part on strong sales of camera sensors for products like Apple's iPhone, Sony is forecasting that its operating profits will more than quadruple in the coming year, a report said on Thursday.




While the Japanese electronics company recorded operating profits of 68.5 billion yen ($573.5 million) for its 2015 fiscal year -- which ended in March -- it's projecting a 2016 target of 320 billion yen, or approximately $2.7 billion, according to Reuters. That would be Sony's best operating profit in seven years, though still below analyst consensus, which is calling for an even higher profit of 408 billion yen ($3.4 billion).

CEO Kazuo Hirai has undertaken radical steps to help Sony recover from serious losses in the past several years. It has for since sold off its VAIO PC division, and spun off its TV business. Its audio and video businesses will also soon be spun off.

Sony is believed to be primarily responsible for the CMOS camera sensors in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Based on large sales of those devices, the company has already twice announced plans to expand CMOS production. In the March quarter alone, Apple sold 61.17 million iPhones.

Sony's own mobile communications division is continuing to see losses. It took a 217.6 billion yen ($1.8 billion) hit in 2014, and is only predicted to shrink that figure to 39 billion yen ($326.2 million) this year. Although its current Xperia smartphones are liked by many critics, they continue to live in the shadow of products from Apple, Samsung, Motorola, and others.

The company is lastly projecting that while revenue will dip 3.8 percent in 2015, lower restructuring costs will help it turn a net profit of 140 billion yen ($1.2 billion), and resume paying dividends that were cancelled for 2014.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    Sony has good shareholders. They want the company to invest in new products and future markets.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Quote:

    Although its current Xperia smartphones are liked by many critics, they continue to live in the shadow of products from Apple, Samsung, Motorola, and others.


     

    1. I wasn't even aware that Sony made/sold a smartphone product.

     

    2. When you're in the shadow of the Empire State Building, the shadow cast by the newsstand across the street is irrelevant.  ;)

  • Reply 3 of 21
    Didn't know they spun off their TV division. If there's one thing Sony was known for over the years it's their TVs. And now they're spinning off audio and video? What's left?
  • Reply 4 of 21
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,804member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post



    Didn't know they spun off their TV division. If there's one thing Sony was known for over the years it's their TVs. And now they're spinning off audio and video? What's left?

    Actually, I believe the article is wrong. Sony has not yet spun off their TV business. It's been something talked about but I don't think it has happened yet. And yes, they consider the TV business separately than the A/V business for whatever reason. Probably has something to do with their Pro side.

  • Reply 5 of 21
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,387member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post



    Didn't know they spun off their TV division. If there's one thing Sony was known for over the years it's their TVs. And now they're spinning off audio and video? What's left?

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mike1 View Post

     

    Actually, I believe the article is wrong. Sony has not yet spun off their TV business. It's been something talked about but I don't think it has happened yet. And yes, they consider the TV business separately than the A/V business for whatever reason. Probably has something to do with their Pro side.


     

    Yes, they have spun-off the TV business and they're going to spin off the A/V business, but these new divisions are wholly owned by Sony.    The supposed idea was to give these businesses the freedom to operate without all of Sony's bureaucracy  but also to make them completely responsible for their own P&L.    And I think it's a game because since these businesses have been losing money for years, their losses will no longer reflect on the parent's balance sheet, which I think is how Sony started being profitable after losing money for many years. 

     

    My bet is that if these divisions actually start making money, they'll eventually be rolled back into Sony.  If they don't, they'll be closed or sold-off.  

     

    My personal opinion is that Sony got much too large, they never developed the promised synergy between different divisions and they produced way too many products and many of those products were junk.   It was actually quite shocking to see in the Sony outlet stores how many low-end crappy products they produce.   Do they really need to produce 200 different low-end clock radios?  They pushed 3D TVs when they became popular, but then they never had the better models of 3D glasses in stock.    Same for specially designed TV stands. 

     

    I think if Sony streamlines the business, they can do well, but it would wind up a much smaller company.   I think the markets would like Sony to dump manufacturing completely, although that would be a shame IMO.   Their higher-end stuff isn't bad, but that's not where you can achieve mass-market numbers.    In TVs, they've basically decided they can't compete on the low end, although somewhat surprisingly, there are no OLED sets yet in their current product line, although most of the line is now UHD (4K).

  • Reply 6 of 21
    zabazaba Posts: 226member
    The sticky out camera, hope they focus on getting this design flaw fixed for the 6s, I'm not buying one until they do. Apologies for off topic but that pic just reminded me why I haven't upgraded yet.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    ahmlcoahmlco Posts: 432member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

    Their higher-end stuff isn't bad, but that's not where you can achieve mass-market numbers....

     

    Ummm... tell that to Apple.

  • Reply 8 of 21
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zaba View Post



    The sticky out camera, hope they focus on getting this design flaw fixed for the 6s, I'm not buying one until they do. Apologies for off topic but that pic just reminded me why I haven't upgraded yet.



    I bought the iP6 on day one and the protruding camera lens is a complete non-issue, and no, I do not have a case. It just doesn't affect the use of the phone at all. My only complaint, which is really trivial, is the new location of the power switch. I liked the old location better. The new location seems to result in unintentional presses while adjusting the volume.

  • Reply 9 of 21
    mstone wrote: »
    I liked the old location better. The new location seems to result in unintentional presses while adjusting the volume.
    I haven't noticed anyone else talk about this. I thought I was the only one who had this problem. Also, I end up changing the volume when trying to click the power button. I just assumed that I was holding it wrong!
  • Reply 10 of 21
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,964member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    This is what company's should do.

     

    Work with Apple instead of trying to compete with them.


     

    Sony's has been making great Camera;s for the iPhone.  I'm happy that Sony is also making out.   Make a good product and make a profit!!!

  • Reply 11 of 21
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,964member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zaba View Post



    The sticky out camera, hope they focus on getting this design flaw fixed for the 6s, I'm not buying one until they do. Apologies for off topic but that pic just reminded me why I haven't upgraded yet.

     

    You do realize phones like the Samsung S6 have a LARGE camera bump!!!  Even HTC One, not really a bump, they just made the middle fatter then the sides so there wasn't a bumb.  It's not a flaw in the iPhone, it was designed that way!!!  You could call it not typical Apple design, even though Camera bumps have been on many phones in the past and current.   I'd prefer they made the phone just a bit thicker and have a larger battery and then the camera could be flush, but that didn't happen.  I'm about 99% sure the next iPhone will look exactly the same on the outside, with just updated specs and be called the iPhone 6S and 6S+.

     

    Besides, if you throw a case on, even a thin one, the little bump issue is GONE!!!  in fact because Apple made the phone so thin, when you throw a case onto it, it's not as bulky.   Hell a case will make it less slippery also.  I just think it's a non-issue.  

  • Reply 12 of 21
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,964member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     



    I bought the iP6 on day one and the protruding camera lens is a complete non-issue, and no, I do not have a case. It just doesn't affect the use of the phone at all. My only complaint, which is really trivial, is the new location of the power switch. I liked the old location better. The new location seems to result in unintentional presses while adjusting the volume.


     

    I 100% agree.  I hate the power button location.  I've pushed on it many times when I go to use the Volume buttons.  The top was much better!!!  It really needs to go back to the top!!!  The Camera, not a issue, except to fandroid, even though many of their own Android phones have Camera bumps including the latest Samsung S6 and S6 Edge!!!  Right in the middle of the phone, a big bump!!!  The iphone is a tiny bump.

  • Reply 13 of 21
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,964member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by diplication View Post





    I haven't noticed anyone else talk about this. I thought I was the only one who had this problem. Also, I end up changing the volume when trying to click the power button. I just assumed that I was holding it wrong!

     

    Steve Jobs has been dead for a few years.  Can we end the Fandroid " You're holding it wrong" quote then continue to bring up.  That and 9 bent phones.  It's really getting sold.  That was over 4 years ago.  I had the iPhone 4 for 4+ years and left handed which means my palm was was making that jump, so worse, and yet it was never a issue for me, EVER otherwise I would never have had that phone for so long.  

     

    The power button on the iphone 6, I agree, I have never liked the location, directly across from the volume down button.   Every once in a while I end up turning my phone off when I didn't want to.  It really needs to go back on top.

  • Reply 14 of 21

    My complaint on the power button is that it's hard to take screenshots one-handed now. But that may have happened anyway with the larger phone. That is one thing I miss about my 4.

  • Reply 15 of 21
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    sog35 wrote: »
    This is what company's should do.

    Work with Apple instead of trying to compete with them.

    And how many companies can do that? If Apple decides to go with another company's camera then Sony is f'd. What are you going to say then? "they shouldn't have relied so much on Apple"
  • Reply 16 of 21
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    jbdragon wrote: »
    Steve Jobs has been dead for a few years.  Can we end the Fandroid " You're holding it wrong" quote then continue to bring up.  That and 9 bent phones.  It's really getting sold.  That was over 4 years ago.  I had the iPhone 4 for 4+ years and left handed which means my palm was was making that jump, so worse, and yet it was never a issue for me, EVER otherwise I would never have had that phone for so long.  

    The power button on the iphone 6, I agree, I have never liked the location, directly across from the volume down button.   Every once in a while I end up turning my phone off when I didn't want to.  It really needs to go back on top.

    So what, now nobody can say "I was holding it wrong" without it being attributed it to SJ?
  • Reply 17 of 21
    diplicationdiplication Posts: 606member
    jbdragon wrote: »
    Steve Jobs has been dead for a few years.  Can we end the Fandroid " You're holding it wrong" quote then continue to bring up.  That and 9 bent phones.  It's really getting sold.
    Sorry, my attempt at humor. I only meant to mock those critical of a nonexistent problem. In retrospect, I see where I wasn't clear.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zaba View Post



    The sticky out camera, hope they focus on getting this design flaw fixed for the 6s, I'm not buying one until they do. Apologies for off topic but that pic just reminded me why I haven't upgraded yet.

     

    They should "fix" physics then.... (sic) because that's the reason it sticks out.

  • Reply 19 of 21
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,597member

    How far Sony and the Sony brand has fallen. Time was when it was a stellar brand sitting where Apple reigns now, at the top of the consumer electronics food chain.  Used to be the name "Sony" slapped on a TV allowed them to charge a premium price for their sets.  I remember purchasing a TV and the choices were "Sony, and the rest".  Now, they can only make money as a component supplier where the "Sony" brand doesn't even come into play.

     

    I think their decline began when despite their experience with Betamax, they persisted on using proprietary media formats that offered no real or perceived advantage at highway robbery prices.   (DAT, Minidisc, ATRAC, MemoryStick, UMD)

     

    To compound the problem, when software became a critical component in consumer electronics, it became quite apparent that they couldn't write shit for software.

  • Reply 20 of 21
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    It is interesting take on Sony's profit increase... not sure if it holds water, though. Sony was making camera sensors for iPhones at least since 4s, if not before. Even with iPhone 6 selling better than previous iPhones, camera sensors are becoming more and more commodity and sensor price is going down on average.

    I'd like to see how much money Sony makes on iPhone sensors. I have found somewhere $20 per phone mentioned, but that's not net profit, to my understanding. Additionally, in 2014 Sony's total camera sensor production has grown to 40% of total worldwide production, which is quite remarkable; even Galaxy S6 uses Sony sensors.

    If there is one single most important factor for Sony's success, I think it should be PlayStation 4. With 22 million consoles and around 100 million games sold so far - not counting accessories and PSN subscription - it must have generated significant profit. PS3 was, on average, selling around 10 million units a year. PS4 is easily doubling that, and at higher margin per console, thanks to shift from exotic to mainstream AMD X86 architecture.
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