back to article Red-spattered Android figures sinkhole Sony's healthy financials

Santa was kind to Sony, with sales and profits rising in the final trading quarter of 2014. However, although the Japanese giant shipped 12 million phones in the period the mobile unit still weighs the group down, and further losses are expected as Sony withdraws from the Chinese mobile market. Sony's movie division also had …

  1. MrWibble

    Sony are making some damn good phones, and keeping them updated with the latest software. The only issue recently has been that they've either launched 6 months later in America than the rest of the world, or not at all.

    Near the end of last year that improved (z3 launched almost at the same time worldwide), so maybe more Americans will buy their stuff?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sony making Android is a sort of problem though. The sort of people who go really mad for Sony and open source are the sort who hate Sony because of their "root kit".

      1. Aitor 1

        2100 laid off?

        They really havemore than 2100 ppl working on android phones?

        I doubt it.

        You don't need more than 300ppl to design and test them.. and keep them updated.

        I must have jumped into wrong conclusions.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I bet more than 95% of Android users or Sony customers have no clue what open source even means. Sony is a good consumer brand, and everyone knows someone who has Android.

        It's marketing and what their mates have that counts.

      3. Gerhard Mack

        Not just the root kit

        The fact that Sony disabled features on the PlayStation for their own internal business reasons guarantees I will not buy anything from Sony for a very long time. I will never buy hardware from a company that thinks disabling features after I have paid for the product is in any way acceptable.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not just the root kit

          They disabled OtherOS because Geohot was trying to hack it to play pirate games..

          Sorry you (and other gullible tools) were brainwashed into thinking otherwise.

      4. Dave 126 Silver badge

        >Sony making Android is a sort of problem though.

        The version of Android shipped on Sony (and Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola etc) phones is *not* open source. See AOSP Vs Google Play Services for details.

    2. Tom Chiverton 1

      I got a Z1 because it's piss easy to root, robust and water proof.

  2. theOtherJT

    Good phones but slightly annoying software...

    I'd be very happy with my Z3 compact - in fact, as a physical device I like it very much - but I loathe the way that android is going the same way as consumer PC's with 4 million crapware packages installed when you buy it.

    In fact, it's _worse_ than with consumer PC's because then at least you just do a fresh Windows (or Linux - or in my case usually both) install to scrape all that shit off, but you can't do that on here because Sony has baked the DRM keys for various bits of hardware into the firmware. Unlock the boot loader and bugger up the camera :(

    Come on Sony, you're really close here, but please, PLEASE stop shipping things with pre-installed apps that can't be removed. I mean you even offer a method to root the phone straight off the bat so clearly you recognize that people like me really want access to the hardware we paid for. Take the last step. You know it's for the best.

    1. petur

      Re: Good phones but slightly annoying software...

      Compared to other phones the Z3 compact has little skinning and not quite that many crapware installed. I disabled most and moved them to another tab (Nova launcher to the rescue).

      As for the DRM keys going byebye when you root the phone, that's something that I see on many phones that have some bundled extra's, and it is my understanding that what goes missing when you root it is the 'special' stuff of their camera app. The camera will stay working perfectly, as far as it goes anyway as the camera is about the weakest part of the phone.

    2. James 51

      Re: Good phones but slightly annoying software...

      Z3 compact is the first andriod phone since the xperia mini pro to make me even think about buying something tied into Google. Pity that the software is half baked but then that's often Sony's down fall. I remember some software that shipped with an excellent portable CD player, it was worse even than itunes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good phones but slightly annoying software...

        When I decided I needed a small format tablet I considered the N7 but actually bought an Experia Z Ultra, adding to Sony's losses by acquiring it for a measly £204. This despite my negative feelings about Sony the company.

        I'm still very pleased with it. I use KK launcher and am not really aware of the bloat. OK it is a bit delicate but I look after it. The colour rendition is very good, it is reasonably fast, it has a magnetic charger connection, is light in weight and, best of all, because it has phone functions it works with a PAYG SIM so it needs neither an expensive tablet contract nor the use of a phone as a hotspot.

        Despite the size I find myself taking it out (in the big front pocket of a winter coat where it won't get bent) because it is not particularly heavy.

        What is Sony doing wrong?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good phones but slightly annoying software...

      80% can be installed, and android sandboxing ensures no crud remains. 19% are system apps that can be frozen (disabled).

      I couldn't get rid of walkman or their album apps, that's about it. Put Google launcher on, and you have a close to nexus premium device.

    4. Anonymous Bullard

      Re: Good phones but slightly annoying software...

      consumer PC's with 4 million crapware packages installed when you buy it.

      To a consumer (ie, not us) they're features.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good phones but slightly annoying software...

      Root without unlocking the boot loader is now possible with the Z3 Compact. You can then backup the DRM keys for future carnage. Take a look at the XDA forums for more details. If you don't want to run the risk of rooting, then disable the apps you don't fancy and install Nova or Google Now. Your phone will be very close to stock at this point. Result

      Sent from my Z3 Compact - Great phone at a great price with great battery life.

  3. Mike Brown

    I love sony phones. Decent spec, long lasting, and they look good. Dont understand why people buy samsung plastic tat, when they could get a better specced sony for the same, or less. sheeple huh?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm just glad we have a choice.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    spot the hidden agenda

    It's pretty obvious. Sony make some of the best android phones and tablets money can buy. A large part of the developed world is still asleep, but slowly waking up to that..

    Quick try and kill it before that happens...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: spot the hidden agenda

      Or not. The very unhidden agenda is that nobody is buying Sony phones, so their phone business unit is making a loss. There are many, many people out there, myself included, who will never buy a phone running google spyware. Sony are a high end brand. Consumers of high end brands have many choices. They appear not to be choosing Sony. My guess is that your average Sony prospect is also the kind of person who would like apple kit. Are they selling many iPhones at the moment???

  5. mattd73uk

    Real shame if they stop

    I personally don't see much to distinguish phones except size and battery life. I love that I don't have to think about charging my Z3 Compact - at some point in the next 3 to 5 days I'll notice it'll be down to 20-30% and plug it in - on a device that fits in one hand. I dread Sony giving up the game and having to go back to devices with daily charging, and the stress of trying to preserve low battery in some urgent situation.

  6. Long John Brass

    Check my math ...

    If their revenue WRT the mobile division is ¥429bn then according to google that's $68bn (USD)

    How the fuck can they only make $80m in profit? are their margins really THAT thin?

    Or is this some creative accounting for tax purposes?

    Or have I utterly misunderstood the article?

  7. AlanT1

    Marketing Marketing and Some thinking out of the Box

    Sony make super phones, robust smart innovative but still the mobile market press should Samsung and Apple. You can't blame the guys in the media (can you?), you have to promote your product. Marketing Marketing if you will. And the thinking out of the box, have a look at the media players they sell with phone docking. Do you see ones with Sony docking? I don't but I see a lot with iPhone docking. The company that brought mobile music to the masses!

    Is docking obsolete with NFC, WiFi and Bluetooth? Not until they also charge the phone.

    1. ParaHandy
      Headmaster

      Re: Marketing Marketing and Some thinking out of the Box

      "The company that brought mobile music to the masses!"

      I assume you mean Sony here? The Sony walkman was the device that brought mobile music to the masses. Surely?

      Just sayin'

  8. ST Silver badge

    what puzzles me ...

    ... is the apparent lack of advertising.

    I've seen tv commercials and billboards for Samsung and HTC mobile phones. But nothing from Sony.

    Sony, how are your potential buyers expected to know about your very high-quality and very well-designed mobile phones if no-one can learn about them from a commercial advertising?

    1. David Paul Morgan

      Re: what puzzles me ...

      there was plenty of poster advertising for the Z-Series.

      I walked past an entire Samsung demo in my local shopping centre to buy a an Xperia 'T' outright from CPW.

      Moved to the Z1 Compact for the 4G - although I could have waited, as it took ages to arrive on O2!

      As I've said many times before, love the sony Camera experience (still & video on the Z series) and I like the Walkman software "I'm listening to it on my walkman" sounds so much better....

      (and the design language and the minimal skinning and the NFC connectivity)

      The Samsungs are soooo plasticky!

      1. ST Silver badge

        Re: what puzzles me ...

        That must be in the UK? Here in the US of A I haven't seen any adverts.

        And yes, as much as I'm all for Open Source Software, I compared the audio quality of VLC vs. Sony's Walkman, and o-well. Can't beat Walkman's sound quality.

  9. breakfast

    Interesting

    A lot of love for Sony phone here. I had a low-mid range one a couple of years ago and it was great. Having had a Samsung lately, I would certainly go back to Sony as the best of the Android Smartphone bunch, assuming they survive long enough.

    I'd like to believe that if they keep making good stuff, users will come to it, but its a big world, who knows?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    when is enough enough?

    "...shipments rise ..."

    "...with an associated profit.."

    "...mobile revenue also rose..."

    "...However, the division still recorded a loss..."

    Something is not right here. If you have loss then "associated profit" and "revenue" didn't rise?

    Nonetheless my question remains.

    "...shipments rise by a respectable 27 per cent..."

    ... but yet that's not enough? Then how much phones do they have to sell get enough?

    When is enough enough? Can someone tell me?

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