Financial results for the first quarter of 2011 are beginning to trickle through and looking at the results for three technology companies shows marked differences in performance.
First lets look at the positives. As usual Intel has exceeded its predictions with its best quarter ever. It pulled in revenue of $12.9 billion (a 29 percent rise year-on-year) in the first three months of 2011 which was around $1.2 billion dollars more than was expected. The purchase of MacAfee and Infineon last year goes some way to explain the unexpected bump in profits but of course "double digit annual revenue growth in every major product segment and across all geographies,” didn’t hurt either.
While Intel’s figures are impressive indeed, they pale in comparison to IBM’s Q1 results with the company reporting revenues of $24.6 billion – a five percent increase and again above Wall Street predictions. Net income rose by 10 percent to $2.9 billion and IBM’s chief executive Samuel J Palmisano said the company saw “excellent momentum” in areas it had marked for higher growth, including business intelligence software and emerging markets abroad. IBM’s core market is in the corporate and government sectors providing tightly integrated bundles of hardware, software and services.
Not having the best of times however is Sony Ericsson. The collaboration between the Japanese tech giant and Swedish telecoms company is now ten years old and 2011 could be a defining year if it is to continue to be a viable mobile phone manufacturer. Revenue of €1.1 billion and profit of €15 million are both down on last year - by 18 and 48 percent respectively - but were slightly ahead of what analysts thought the Q1 earnings were going to be. Sales figures are also down on last year – by 26 percent – with the average price of a handset sold (€141) the only figure that rose. The company estimates its share of the smartphone market was 5 percent in units and 3 percent in value.
2011 is going to be a make or break year for Sony Ericsson as they focus on higher-end phones, with the Xperia Play, Neo and Arc carrying the flag for it, but we will have to wait and see if the joint venture makes it to 2012. With Apple and Nokia also announcing their Q1 results this week we should get a better view of where the mobile phone market stands at this point.