About Sony mobiles
Sony Ericsson has now become Sony, this is now the brand name headlining their mobile division producing their leading handset range, expect style and innovation providing access to their network of entertainment, audio, gaming and content network
Sony Mobile is a subsidary of Sony Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of mobile phones, applications and content for consumer and professional markets. Their Xperia range of Android powered handsets combine innovation, style, design and entertainment, providing access to Sony's range of video, audio content and gaming network. For the last decade, Sony has been part of the Sony Ericsson brand, but it acquired Ericsson's share of the operation in early 2012, and intends to stop using the "Ericsson" bit this year. Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications has now become Sony Mobile Communications.
Sony Mobile Communications is based in London and has research and development facilities in Sweden, Japan, China and the US, and in 2009 it was the fourth-largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world. However, as Sony Ericsson its market share has been falling in recent years, and Sony has decided that the brand isn't what it used to be, and that it may well be toxic. As a result, Sony's non-smartphone devucess are being dumped and from now on, the company's mobile phones will simply be branded with the Sony logo. It's a remarkable role reversal: when the partnership was formed in 2001 Ericsson was a mobile phone legend and Sony was a newcomer. Now, Ericsson is a footnote and Sony is the one to watch.
History of Sony mobile phones
Ten years ago Sony's presence in the mobile market was effectively zero, but then a fire in New Mexico provided an opportunity. Phone giant Ericsson relied on a single factory in New Mexico for its phone chips, and when a fire contaminated the plant it suffered a severe shortage. The fire caused backlogs which in turn caused huge losses, and Ericsson began looking for cash. Rather than sell its phone business, it decided to go into a joint venture with Sony. It took a few years for the partnership to work, but by 2004 Sony Ericsson was making money.
Sony Ericsson's speciality was in feature phones with good cameras and multimedia capabilities, such as the well-liked WalkMan phones, but in 2007 something big happened: Apple released the iPhone. Sony Ericsson, like Nokia, was using the Symbian operating system and relied heavily on sales of non-smartphone "feature phones" to developing countries, but it turned out that there was considerably more money in making smartphones.
Thanks to competition from Apple and Android, Sony Ericsson sales plummeted (30.8m per quarter in 2007 to 8.1m in 2011) as the brand was overtaken by the likes of LG and Samsung, and by the end of 2009 Sony Ericsson had slashed its workforce and closed facilities in a desperate attempt to save money. It didn't do the trick and market share continued to fall, and in late 2011 Sony announced its intention to buy out Ericsson's share of the business. The EU approved the deal in January 2012 and the acquisition was completed in February 2012. Future Sony phones won't mention Ericsson at all, and non-smartphones will be phased out by the end of 2012. That leaves just two product ranges: the Japan-only Bravia phone range, and the Xperia range.