We reported earlier this month that the Wall Street Journal was claiming Sony was close to closing a deal to buy out swedish partner Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson’s 50% stake of the Sony Ericsson brand. Today the deal has been made official with Sony buying out Ericsson for 1.05 billion euros ($1.5 billion). According to the press release, the move will allow Sony to better integrate smartphones into its other product lines– tablets, PCs, TVs, and games consoles. It will also give them full ownership over “five essential patent families” related to wireless smartphone tech, which could obviously help the company easier implement tech being used in their smartphones into other devices.
Sony’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Sir Howard Stringer noted the deal would allow the company to put its “four-screen strategy in place” and allow them to offer services like the PlayStation and Sony Entertainment networks on all devices. We know Microsoft is focused on integrating Xbox Live and their other services with Windows phones, and it looks like Sony has plans to give the same treatment to their smartphones going forward with help from the PlayStation. Maybe the Xperia Play wont be the only PlayStation certified phone in the near future.
Its clear Sony isn’t going to just let the failing Sony Ericsson brand, which only captured approximately two percent of the worldwide mobile phone market last year, fall by the wayside in an Apple and Samsung dominated smartphone market. Even with considerable success since forming the partnership in 2001, Sony Ericsson’s brand recognition has arguably never been on par with the Sony brand associated with the Walkman, PlayStation, Sony TVs, and other iconic Sony products most of us grew up with. On top of acquiring the patents necessary to integrate smartphones with their other products, perhaps dropping Ericsson and branding devices simply as “Sony” smartphones will bring back some of that brand recognition that has obviously done companies like Apple well.
Full press release from Sony below: expand full story