An announcement has been made which officially confirms a big change in the mobile phone industry.
After 10 years in partnership, Sony has bought out the Ericsson side of the business in a move which it hopes will help the company to compete against the likes of Samsung.
Sony has paid over 1 billion Euros to Ericsson for the remaining 50% of the business, €1.05 billion to be precise. The move spells the beginning of the end for the two companies’ joint venture, which has lasted over 10 years.
Back in 2001, Sony and Ericsson were making pretty cool little phones – we were particularly fond of the Sony J5 and the Ericsson T100, anybody remember those? Both companies agreed on a joint venture and began churning out Sony Ericsson handsets. The company was one of the front runners in the mobile phone market, creating hugely popular Walkman and Cybershot ranges which provided the best in music and camera phones.
Unfortunately the company fell behind when the smartphone race really started to take off, and despite making some amazing phones, still aren’t competing well enough with other manufacturers.
We already know that the company plans to go smartphone-only in 2012, cutting back their production of feature phones and cheaper mobiles. Sony plans to introduce some of their other brands more into the smartphone market, adding Playstation content and more on handsets.
Whether we will see Sony Ericsson phones branded as simply Sony in the future remains to be seen. The deal is expected to be finalised in January of 2012.