Reuters is reporting that the Ericsson part of Sony Ericsson has been sold to Sony. Ericsson and Sony had been working together in a joint venture since 2001, but all that is coming to an end. As the mobile phone market heats up, having more control over devices end-to-end makes a lot of sense. Apple has proved that not sharing development with 3rd parties can be a winning formula.
The deal is worth 1.5 Billion Euro or $1.98 Billion Aussie dollars, with a 50/50 split between cash and shares.
The Ericsson brand will likely be killed off for more recognisable branding as Sony phones. Only time will tell if this change in direction will yield the better results in the mobile division. Recently Sony’s attempt at the smart phone market with the Experia brand has failed to gain mindshare with consumers, resulting in poor sales. Sony should be applauded at trying something new and with a market cap of more than 20 Billion, they can afford it.
Sony’s smart phone platform of choice is Android, which is due for version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich soon. Sony had previously said that Windows Phones weren’t likely, but given their new mobile strategy, it’s possible we see them reconsider that position.