Ericsson has announced that Sony Corporation will be acquiring the Swedish company's 50% stake in the mobile phone joint venture, Sony Ericsson. The transaction will involve Sony paying a cash consideration of 1.05 billion euros to Ericsson.
The joint venture between the two companies was set up in 2001, aimed to create a strong offering from its multimedia-centric devices. However, Sony Ericsson has been facing stiff competition over the past few months, with its President and CEO Bert Nordberg admitting that the company "should have taken the iPhone more seriously when it arrived in 2007". The company currently has a market share of 11% in Android, with 80% of its sales originating from its Android smartphone portfolio.
Sony Ericsson has been on a more aggressive approach to include unique services from Sony's portfolio, starting from the PlayStation-certified Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and its pre-loaded PlayStation games, to the upcoming PlayStation Suite, a software framework that will be used to provide downloadable PlayStation content for devices that meet the PlayStation-certified requirements.
With this new development, the company has stated that "the Xperia smartphone will serve as a cornerstone to Sony's unique "four screen" proposition, integrating the Xperia smartphone portfolio to its existing tablet, TV, videogame and personal computer businesses to deliver a more powerful "four screen" experience enabling a connected PC, TV, Tablet and smartphone experience for consumers". In other words, you'll probably see Sony taking a more focused approach to integrate its wide range of devices and services onto Sony's new smartphone lineup.
Meanwhile, we've reached out to Sony Ericsson to check on the company's commitment towards the Android platform and its plans to upgrade its existing portfolio to Android Ice Cream Sandwich. We will update with more details when it's made available to us.