PC Briefs: Sony, handhelds

PC Briefs: Sony, handhelds

Serious slump in Sony sales

Japanese giant Sony has been hard hit by sluggish demand for its core products, including electronics, movies, games and music, resulting in a massive 98 per cent drop in profits. Its biggest problems lie with its main electronics product line: sales of TV and audio equipment fell rapidly and the price of goods such as digital cameras and camcorders came down by as much as 10 per cent in the last year. Sales of PS2 consoles and games were also down. This would have a serious impact on the company as it had offered an earnings boost recently. Sony said it was concentrating on new releases for the third quarter, but the success of such a strategy depended heavily on an upturn in the market for this period, according to analysts.

Handheld sales slide, but will bounce back

Worldwide shipments of handheld devices dropped significantly in the second quarter of the year, as continued tight budgets and a lack of compelling new applications stifled demand, according to a new IDC report. Handheld device shipments dropped 10.7 per cent — to 2.27 million units — in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. But while second quarter shipments represented a bruising drop over the previous year, it was not as severe as the year-over-year decline recorded this time last year, IDC said. Vendor upgrades to devices and applications, along with a more encouraging macro-economic climate, were tipped to yield an improvement for the handheld market in the second half of the year. Palm continued to lead the market with 39.9 per cent market share for the quarter and 903,096 units shipped. It was followed by HP (16.8), Sony (11.3) and Dell (6.7 per cent).

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