This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
Makoto Takahashi, president of KDDI, which operates AU, said at the earnings conference that the new coronavirus caused a significant drop in sales of smartphones and other handsets, and that he has been “impatient” with the transition to 5G not progressing as expected.
According to the earnings release, mobile phone sales for April-June 2020 were 1.5 million units, down 450,000 units from the same period last year. This was particularly affected by a significant drop in sales at au shops following the government's declaration of a state of emergency.
President Takahashi said, “A decrease of 450,000 units is a significant figure. We have been trying to focus on 5G since March, but the new coronavirus has stalled us”. The decline in mobile phone sales led to lower sales costs, which contributed to a significant increase in profits in April and June. However, President Takahashi said, "We must build up IoT and value-added industries using 5G for after corona. In order to do so, we need to ensure the spread of 5G (through device sales)", with a sense of urgency.
On the other hand, sales of 5G smartphones are currently picking up. As more and more 5G smartphones will be released in the future, we will accelerate our sales to keep up with the global 5G rollout," he said, aiming to sell more than two million 5G smartphones by the end of this fiscal year.
Takahashi also commented on Apple's announcement in the same day's earnings release that the launch of the new iPhone, which is rumored to be 5G compatible, will be delayed by a few weeks due to the coronavirus. He said that he didn't know the details of the launch date, but acknowledged that if the launch was delayed, it would be a downside to the device's sales volume.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.