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Sony Ericsson Shipments Plummet by 45%

After releasing their third-quarter (Q3) results, Sony Ericsson’s sales are down to €1.619 billion, a massive drop of 42%.

Handset shipments and revenues are also struggling at Sony Ericsson. Their Q3 results show that just 14.1 million units were shipped, a 2% shortfall on Q2 results and a 45% slump in comparison to the same quarter results from last year.

Sony Ericsson will be most hurt that their sales figures are 42% down to £1.48 billion, 4% lower than Q2. The average selling price of Sony Ericsson units is down from €122 in Q2 to €114 in Q3, but up from last year’s Q3 figures of €109.

The mixture of products and difficult market conditions was blamed for the lower average selling price of handsets.

According to a statement made by Sony Ericsson, improvements were made on gross margin, but dropped annually due to foreign exchange inconsistencies and lower sales. However, improvements in volume and percentage rate were seen in the success of the W995 Walkman phone and a series of cost cutting measures.

President of Sony Ericsson, Dick Komiyama, stated “Our business in the third quarter started to show the effects of our ongoing transformation programme. Having refreshed our brand we are now better positioned to support the launch of new products such as Aino and Satio in Q4 2009. We have cleared channel inventories, and have continued to realign internal resources and improve efficiency.  We have also arranged external financing to strengthen the company’s financial position.

“Transforming the business for future growth and returning Sony Ericsson to profitability is the focus of the senior management team and will continue under the new leadership.”

Sony Ericsson set out last year in a bid to reduce their annual operating expenses by €880 million; efforts that are set to continue. The benefits from these cuts are due to be seen towards the end of 2010.

Sir Howard Stringer, chairman, chief executive and president of Sony and member of the Sony Ericsson board, succeeded Carl-Henric Svanberg on 15 October, with Bert Nordberg becoming president at Sony Ericsson in place of Dick Komiyama. Mr Komiyama will remain as an executive advisor until the later stages of 2009.

Experts believe that the world mobile phone handset market for 2009 will shrink by approximately 10% from the 1.19 billion units sold in 2008. Sony Ericsson believe that for unit sales during Q3, they hold approximately five per-cent of the world market.

Sidekick Loss Hits T-Mobile Phone Sales

T-Mobile has had to withdraw the Sidekick in America, after being made aware that customers could lose personal data through its server.

The designer of Sidekick’s software, Danger (a subsidiary of Microsoft), confirmed the fault, with the mobile phone industry condemning the issue as one of the biggest failings in recent years.

Microsoft are also coming out of the situation look bad, after promoting cloud or online services as a means of less expensive solution to enterprise storage.

Harry McCracken, editor of Technologizer.com told BBC News “this is the most spectacular loss of data on the web to date.”

“There have been other examples, but always from small companies. For this to involve a big name like Microsoft is a major embarrassment and a big worry for consumers and Microsoft.”

Data back-up

It is understood that Microsoft’s company Danger, experienced a technical hitch which caused major data loss, with Sidekick users seeing disruptions for the past week. Investigations are underway to find the cause of the faulty server, with Microsoft yet to offer an explanation.

Sidekick uses an online service to provide back-up contacts, calendar appointments, photos and other personal information saved to the mobile phone. Some of the one million subscribers to Sidekick have “almost certainly” lost personal data as a result of this glitch according to Microsoft.

Those most at risk of losing their personal information are those who let their battery fully drain or removed it completely, causing all local copies of data to be cleared from the phone.

“I had 411 contacts, now they are all gone. I had five e-mail accounts set up on the phone as well which are also gone, address book and all,” complained 17 year old high-school student Kayla Hasse from New Jersey.

“I am extremely upset not only due to the fact I lost everything, but also because I pay 20 some dollars a month for THIS? It’s ridiculous.”

Mr McCracken feels it’s a “real wake-up call for customers.”

“In the past we have always tended to assume that big companies are better at backing up our data than we are. While this is true in most cases, a lot of people are going to say you can’t trust third parties, whether it’s Microsoft, Google, Apple or whoever.”

The future of cloud computing

Whilst Microsoft and T-Mobile may experience the immediate fall-out from this problem, experts fear that it may cause long term damage to customer confidence in cloud computing.

Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts is concerned. “Microsoft has been beating the drum for the idea of cloud computing where we all trust our stuff on some server up in Washington State,”

“This is going to throw a little cold water on that idea for the moment. Microsoft is going to have to do some explaining and give good assurances that cloud computing is viable and that it won’t lose data in the future, otherwise people won’t trust it.”

Fujitsu adds SAS, iSCSI and SSD to Eternus DX

Fujitsu is looking to strengthen its Eternus DX brand by adding SAS and iSCSI interfaces and a solid state drive, enhancements developed since its March takeover of Fujitsu Siemens Computers.

Fujitsu Siemens Computers had twin controller arrays with Fibre Channel connectivity for small/medium businesses in the FibreCAT SX60 and SX80. SAS and iSCSI were already features found in Fujitsu’s Eternus 2000 array, directed at a similar customer base and offered the Eternus 4000 and 8000 as larger-scale arrays.

Fujitsu has been aiming to merge the SME products into one range and to re-brand it ‘Eternus DX’. In June, initial steps were made by renaming the FibreCAT SX60 and SX80 to Eternus DX60 and DX80. STEC had already been chosen to supply its Eternus drive arrays with solid state drives (SSD’s) a month earlier.

Due to this range of modifications, the Eternus 2000 range has now been replaced by the Eternus DX60 and DX80, with SAS and iSCSI working in conjunction with the Fibre Channel. Up to 24 15,000rpm SAS HDD’s are offered by the DX60 with an option of 300 or 400GB capacity, and the DX80 up to 120. Nearline SAS drives are also available with either 1TB or 750GB capacities, rotating at 7,200rpm, however SATA drives are not supported.

The DX/60/DX80 give leading edge performance and easy-to-manage storage for a range of uses. The capability of data storage to the most appropriate medium, from SAS, nearline SAS to SSD allows customers to generate better information lifecycle management.

2 to 4 Fibre Channel host interfaces are offered by both models, or an equal number of 3Gbit/s SAS or 1Gbit/s iSCSI interfaces. 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel is provided by the DX60 while the DX80 can deliver 8Gbit/s with 100 or 200GB SSD’s.

Both products include RAID migration, Data Block Guard, eight snapshots which is extendable to 512 (DX60) AND 1,024 (DX80), redundant copy, disk encryption, and a function called Eco-mode, which is based on MAID (Massive Array of Inactive Disks) technology to allow administrators to save electricity by choosing to spin-down inactive disk drives.

They suit a range of uses, such as Microsoft Cluster Server or X10 sure and storage consolidation. Also, these products are perfect for important company applications such as E-mail, data archiving, database operation and disk back-up.

The DX60/DX80 also acts as a great storage aid in virtual server environments with VMware vSphere, Critix and Microsoft Hyper-V.