Sony Ericsson figures hit by Japan disaster fall out

Swedish-Japanese mobile phone manufacturer Sony Ericsson posted a net loss of €50 million ($70 million) for the second quarter on Friday, saying that its supply chain had been hit by the disasters in Japan.

Sony Ericsson figures hit by Japan disaster fall out

In the second quarter last year, the Japanese-Swedish group had made net profit of €12 million.

The company sold 7.6 million mobile phones in the quarter, a 31-percent drop from the April-June period in 2010, attributed to an expected fall in the number of non-smartphones it sold and to the earthquake in Japan.

“We estimate that the impact of earthquake-related supply chain constraints on our portfolio was close to 1.5 million units, with most of the effect in the early part of the quarter,” chief executive Bert Nordberg said in a statement, noting the quake had affected the company’s profitability.

In an interview with Dow Jones Newswires, he said the quarter “was lost” and that April had been “a formidable catastrophe.”

“Had it not been for the earthquake and the supply chain constraints we would have shipped 1.5 million more units and we would have been profitable during the second quarter,” Nordberg told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview, adding supply chain problems were “fading away” and that things looked brighter

The group’s revenue fell 32 percent to 1.19 billion euros in the quarter.

Smartphones accounted for some 70 percent of its total sales.

Sales of its Xperia phone, which runs the Google Android platform, were up 150 percent from 2010, the company said. It noted its market share in the Android-based segment during the quarter was of 11 percent in volume and 11 percent in value.

Nordberg said that while the market for smartphones grew, the demand for non-smartphones, or so-called feature phones, continued to slump.

The ten-year-old company said it maintained its 2011 forecast for modest industry growth in terms of units in the handset market.

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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.

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