updated 11:45 am EST, Mon December 5, 2011
Sony Ericsson to just be Sony in several months
Sony Ericsson executive marketing VP Kristian Tear confirmed a roadmap for when the company's separation from Ericsson would be visible to the public. He told The Times of India to expect smartphones branded just under Sony's name by sometime in mid-2012. It would lead to more spending on marketing to get the name change out, but the company now expected to take advantage of Sony's ownership to get more than it could in the earlier 50-50 deal.
"We expect to gain from its assets on the content, technology, and brand side," Tear said.
Sony still needs to wait until at least sometime in 2012 for the deal to be approved and take effect.
The handover will be part of a new strategy for the phone company as it goes smartphone-only, becoming one of the first Android supporters to make the leap. It may cost sales in the developing world, where most can't afford smartphone data plans, but would help stem years of losses as its basic feature phone lineup's sales withered away.
Sony Ericsson was considered one of the first direct casualties of the iPhone. Its reluctance to fully commit to smartphones and its initial choice of Windows Mobile for that effort ended up punishing it, taking it out of the top five celllphone builders and leaving it with two percent of the entire market, a position that Apple passed years earlier. Shipments have only been climbing back up slowly relative to Apple, HTC, Samsung, and others.