DUBLIN, April 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Sony has announced its annual profit growth was below estimates, due to the slowing demand for smartphones globally. The company's operating income increased from the last fiscal period, but was below its January outlook. It has booked a 59.6 billion yen impairment charge, according to reports, citing a "decrease in projected future demand."
The Tokyo-based multinational is also scaling back expected demand for sensors and lenses. It has been supplying image sensors to customers like Apple, and recent reports on the image sensors market expect growth at a rate of 4.1% over the next five years.
Sony has been shifting its focus away from consumer electronics and image sensors to video games and movies. In particular, its PS4 console, which provides streaming services for 50 million online users. The availability of multi-functional gaming consoles has become a key trend in the gaming market. These consoles not only support games, but also allow users to watch videos and listen to music. Sony's PS4 is one of the leaders in this market, and has deals with streaming giants Netflix and Spotify. The global gaming console market is forecast to grow at a rate of 13.13% by 2020.
This move has been prompted by expectations that global smartphone sales will slow. Users in the Asia-Pacific region are delaying upgrading to new devices until they see the functionality and pricing improve. A report on the smartphone market in Japan had projected growth at a rate of nearly 20%. It observed the rising popularity of m-commerce, smartphone applications and mobile advertising as key drivers of growth. However, recent trends suggest this figure will now be significantly smaller.
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