Sony forecasts minor growth and bigger losses, keeps marching on


Sony issued its delayed forecast for the business year between March 2016 – 2017. Originally scheduled for the end of April, the prognosis was postponed for May following the abrupt and severe earthquake damage sustained by Sony's Japanese production facilities in Kumamoto and Nagasaki. Not surprisingly, the report is quite conservative.

Sony expects a minor 2% increase in operating profit totaling to $2.75 billion (300 billion yen), significantly below analyst estimates. This is attributed largely to the partial stall in camera sensor manufacturing caused by the incident. At present, imaging sensors are one of the company's largest profit drivers, with Sony holding a good 40% of the CMOS image sensor market to itself. The earthquake's impact on Sony's image sensor and digital camera operations will contribute to 105 billion yen out of the total 115 billion yen loss estimated by the company. Its devices division is poised to record a 40 billion yen operating loss, more than the 29.3 billion it lost last year.

As Sony is a major camera module supplier for Apple's recent iPhones, connected analysts were quick to acknowledge that the earthquake damage won't cause trouble with delivering components for the upcoming iPhone 7 line-up. However, shipments of dual-lens camera modules for the iPhone 7 Plus' photography setup could be delayed. According to analysts, Sony is responsible for the rumored dual camera setup's whole hardware assembly, including lenses, sensors and other integrated circuits. Due to the difficulties caused by the earthquake, LG Innotek is expected to fill in with the initial dual camera orders. End users shouldn't be affected by the differences in their cameras' origin, although there might be subtle misalignment that keen eyes will spot eventually.

Despite its difficult financial times and sluggish sales, Sony keeps going at it with its smartphones. This month, it announced the Xperia XA Ultra with its mammoth 16MP selfie camera. Earlier in the year, it shifted focus on a whole new Xperia X smartphone line-up which superseded the Xperia Z series. And a few days ago, another new Sony phone, the Xperia E5, surfaced in Russia. While the company might be having a hard time figuring out its presence in the smartphone market, it is staying true to its word of keeping its mobile tech business alive, which is commendable.

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source: Reuters

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