Sony is ending its 10 year old association with Ericsson that was major network equipment provider to it. Sony has reportedly paid Ericsson $1.47 billion to buy its stake in the joint venture both had to manufacture mobile handsets. Sony is of the view that the association was proving a drag on its mobile sales and that it can perform buyer alone paying more attention on media and integrating its mobile business with other products. There may not be a healthy market share for Sony smartphones in the market but there was a time when Sony Ericsson mobiles were regarded as one of the best in the market.
In the last decade or so, Sony smartphones have lost out to many electronic giants such as ITC, Samsung, Motorola, and of course Apple and many experts are of the view that divorcing Ericsson and going alone may not bring in the desired results for Sony smartphones at this juncture.
Going downhill for quite some time
In mid nineties, Sony Ericsson was a name to reckon with in mobile handset market but with passage of time, Sony smartphones are struggling to compete with Apple and Android smartphones being manufactured by Samsung, HTC and other electronic giants. Probably the decision to break away from Ericsson has to do with the fact that the share of Sony smartphones in global sales had fallen to a meager 3.6% in last financial quarter with Apple dominating smartphone sales and Samsung being a close second in global sales of smartphones. HTC share stands at 10.2% while Apple tops with 18.2% and Samsung close behind at 15.8%.
When Sony and Ericsson married in 2001, it was more of a marriage of necessity than convenience with neither having a major presence in mobile handset market. The motivating factor behind this collaboration was to exploit Sony’s expertise in consumer electronics and Ericsson’s experience in wireless technologies and telecommunication industry.
Late to take off in smartphone segment
One big mistake committed by the pair was to start of late in the smartphone segment and the first Sony smartphone to arrive in the market was Xperia as late as 2008. Even this was a smartphone that did not go well with the expectations o a young generation.
Now that Sony has decided to go ahead alone in smartphone section, it is to be seen if Sony smartphones can indeed turn it around for the electronics giant.