Sony Ericsson reports profits slump

Swedish-Japanese mobile phone manufacturer Sony Ericsson on Tuesday reported a steep decline in net profits, explained by the impact on sales of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Sony Ericsson reports profits slump

The group, the sixth-biggest player in the global market, reported a net profit of €11 million ($15.7 million), down from the €21 million a year earlier, representing a drop of 48 percent.

The company meanwhile reported a sales slump of 18.5 percent, to €1.15 billion, as the number of units shipped during the quarter plunged 23 percent to 8.1 million.

Sony Ericsson attributed that drop to a “decline in the number of feature phones shipped, introduction of new products towards the end of the quarter and seasonality.”

Company chief executive Bert Nordberg also explained that “the Japan earthquake made it a challenging quarter operationally and we are experiencing some disruptions to our supply chain.”

“We will continue to evaluate the situation,” he said in the earnings statement.

Despite the downward trend, Nordberg emphasised that the company, which returned to profit last year after a 2009 deep in the red, had seen its “profitability continue as we accelerate our shift towards an Android-based smartphone portfolio.”

During the first quarter, smartphones accounted for more than 60 percent of total sales for the company, which holds a five percent share of the global market for such devices in terms of units sold and a three-percent market share in terms of value.

Going forward, the company said it expected to see “modest growth in total units in the global handset market for 2011.”

Following Tuesday’s announcement, Sweden’s Ericsson’s shares were flat on a

Stockholm stock exchange up 1.08 percent.

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Sweden’s mobile phone-free day is a relic, but still calls for consideration

Saturday saw Sweden’s annual Mobile-Free Day, an initiative which began in 2002 in an attempt to give people peace and quiet and a break from calls and texts.

Sweden’s mobile phone-free day is a relic, but still calls for consideration
Photo: tatsianama/Depositphotos

But the day has fallen from public awareness in more recent years.

“(Using mobiles) is so integrated into our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean it always will be in future,” said Jonas Engman, ethnologist at the Nordic Museum in Stockholm.

Sweden introduced a mobile phone-free day in 2002, encouraging the public to turn off their cells in an effort to protect the general audio environment.

As such, the roots of the day go back to the beginning of the mobile era, in which everybody having a device in their pockets was still a relatively new phenomenon.

Nine out of ten people in Sweden currently own a mobile telephone, according to a 2018 study. Of those, between 88 and 96 percent use their phones daily.

That falls to 74 percent for the 56-65 years age group, and 62 percent for people aged 66-75.

“There’s a discussion in society as to whether it’s beneficial to keep looking at and checking one’s mobile phone all the time. I think it’s part of everyday life for people in urban areas, and that is not actually a problem” Engman said.

Living without a mobile is something most people should be able to do, the researcher said, even if they might not be prepared to take on the challenge without warning — even just for a single day.

“I think there are many people, not just children and young people, but many generations who find it hard to put their phones down. So it’s good that we (still) have this day to highlight this,” he said.

READ ALSO: Five things to remember when getting a mobile phone in Sweden