Mark Bridge writes:
I remember a report from last year that said ‘non-smart’ touchscreen handsets – generally those without a popular operating system – would be bad news for mobile operators.
Conventional touchscreen smartphones tended to result in higher-than-average ARPU thanks to their early-adopting tech-loving users, their web-friendly browsers, their email programs, their app-friendly operating systems and their fast 3G connectivity. However, dumber touchscreen devices – those with a manufacturer’s own proprietary OS and perhaps a clumsier browser – could generate 23% less ARPU than smarter phones. So, if touchscreen dumbphones weren’t good for networks… and weren’t really good for consumers either… manufacturers wouldn’t really bother with them. Right?
Sony Ericsson's fourth quarter results are a mixed bag of improvements and declines. Shipments were up 3% from the previous three months to 14.6 million units, although this is 40% down year-on-year. Quarterly sales were €1.75 billion, up 8% from Q3 but down 40% year-on-year. The company says these year-on-year decreases were mainly due to a downturn in the global handset market and the unexpected popularity of mid-price touchscreen phones.
Net losses were €167 million; an improvement from a €187m loss year-on-year but slightly worse than the previous quarter.