Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications barely broke even during the third quarter, and reported a small year-on-year drop in revenue as an increase in smartphone sales and the average selling price of its phones was offset by a 9% fall in overall volume.
Revenue for the third quarter was about €1.59 billion (£1.39 billion), compared to €1.6 billion a year earlier. Profitability declined too, with the company breaking even this year after making a €49 million (£42.90 million) profit in the third quarter last year.
Sony Ericsson shipped 9.5 million phones during the third quarter, a 9% decrease compared to the same period last year due to a decline in feature phone shipments. The drop was in part offset by an increase in smartphone shipments, the company said.
That change in product mix towards higher-end models drove the average selling price of Sony-Ericsson phones in the quarter up to €166 (£145), from €154 (£127) a year earlier.
Sony Ericsson plans to drop feature phones from its portfolio entirely during 2012: Currently, 80% of its revenue is from smartphones. The company has shipped 22 million Xperia smartphones to date. It estimates that its share of the Android-based smartphone market was approximately 12% in volume and 11% in value during the third quarter.
During a conference call to discuss the results, the company declined to comment on rumours that parent company Sony may buy out its partner in the joint venture, Ericsson.