Tablets, E-Reader Growth Offset By Weak No-iPhone Quarter At Best Buy

Growth in sales of mobile devices wasn’t enough to offset declines in television and gaming at Best Buy, whose second-quarter results indicate that U.S. demand for consumer technology is tepid amid broader economic worries.

Best Buy missed both profit and revenue targets for its second fiscal quarter, which ended in August. Revenue of $11.3 billion was essentially flat compared to last year, and below analyst expectations of $11.5 billion in revenue. Likewise, net income was $177 million, or $0.48 per share, down from $254 million a year ago. Analysts polled by *Yahoo* Finance were expecting earnings of $0.53 a share.

Mobile computing is an increasingly large part of Best Buy’s strategy, which redesigned its computer section during the quarter to focus on sales of tablets and has featured smartphones near the entrance of many of its stores for quite some time. Best Buy didn’t provide specific numbers, but cited mobile growth as a strong point during a quarter in which same-store sales (a key retailing metric) fell 2.8 percent.

However, that growth must have been coming mostly from tablets and e-readers, as mobile phone sales fell 5 percent across comparable stores “due to industry softness driven by the lack of significant new phone launches during the quarter relative to the prior-year period.” That’s code for the iPhone, of course, a newer version of which is expected to arrive in the fall this year after several years of summer launches for new devices.