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Ericsson to sell its stake in Sony Ericsson, Sony becoming the sole owner

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Ericsson to sell its stake in Sony Ericsson, Sony becoming the sole owner
Ericsson has announced that it's selling its part of the joint Swedish-Japanese venture Sony Ericsson for $1.47 billion (1.05 billion euros). The Japanese Sony Corporation will become the sole owner of the phone maker in an attempt to boost its mobile portfolio.

"Sony will acquire Ericsson's 50 per cent stake in Sony Ericsson... making the mobile handset business a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony," Ericsson said. The decision has already passed approval of both companies' boards, but it's, of course, yet to pass regulatory approval by January 2012. The deal evaluates the whole of Sony Ericsson at around $3.0 billion, almost four times less than what Google paid to acquire Motorola Mobility.

SE will be integrated into Sony's network-connected consumer products, but quite importantly Sony will also get a huge patent portfolio including five key wireless phone patent families via a cross-licensing agreement.

Earlier, a well positioned Sony executive said that SE is a key partner in Sony's attempt to put more of its products, including games on mobile devices. It all seems logical, as the new handsets could easily make use of Sony's broad Playstation gaming portfolio. SE itself has moved in that direction by launching the PS-certified Sony Ericsson Xperia Play.

Ericsson is receiving the $1.47 billion for its 50% share in the JV, which was set up back in 2001. It all started on a high note with a series of stylish phones with color displays such as the Sony Ericsson T68i, but the company also released a couple of high-end big screened models in the P series – a rarity at the time. Around 2003 and a couple of years later, the company switched focus to its strong camera-centric K series. 

In the middle of the first decade of the new millenium, Sony Ericsson treated us with its music series – the Walkman phones, which were also greeted warmly. Around that time, the smartphone race really picked up and the company couldn't catch up. It became more evident with the launch of the iPhone which caught the company off guard. Chief executive Bert Nordberg admitted: "It's safe to say that Sony Ericsson should have taken the iPhone more seriously when it arrived in 2007." 

Most recently, Sony Ericsson has said that it will switch its focus to smartphones alone. The phone maker accounts for 11% of all Androids and its latest offerings in the high-end Xperia series include the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S and the Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V.

source: Ericsson

Press Release

19 Comments
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posted on 27 Oct 2011, 02:34 1

1. hepresearch (unregistered)


Since Sony will be sole owner of the mobile unit, will more cutting-edge design and tech from Japan start making its way into new handsets in North America? And as for Ericsson, will they settle back into being a network equipment manufacturer only, or will they develop their own separate mobile device unit? If still in force, the cross-licensing agreements may be an indication... Ericsson leaving the JV may just mean that they didn't like where Sony was taking things, and Sony is big enough to throw enough money at Ericsson to get them off of their back. Will Sony take the mobile device unit to new places, or will it just die off when Ericsson leaves the JV? Opinions, anyone?

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 06:36 2

10. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


Samsung Electronics. LG electronics. Sony can stand alone. They're like the classiest of all the not too expensive gadgets.
Vaio. Bravia. Tablets.

and I think they would drop the xperia name to start anew.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 02:55

5. hepresearch (unregistered)


Those were the best days for Sony Ericsson. Lately I feel that they are coming back from nearly diving into the abyss, but they are lucky they switched to Android before WP7 came out. We will see how that same choice plays out for Nokia... hopefully better than I am anticipating.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 02:50 6

3. hepresearch (unregistered)


Hi "hepresearch", I think I'll take a stab at it... as Ericsson backs out of the device space completely, if Sony does bring new cutting-edge Japanese tech to their Xperia smartphone line in North America and elsewhere, and stays with the Android route, I foresee greater success and possibly bringing the mobile unit out of the red for once. Instead of just Samsung and HTC being the profitable competitors in the Android space, it would be nice to have Sony rise to the occasion and overcome their prior poor-reputation among certain folks. Hopefully Motorola will again join the profitability party as well. And with Ericsson patents cross-licensed, hopefully there won't be any significant holes in Sony's armour to patch shut when Apple comes bearing down on them...

So, ummm... talking to myself in third-person is really dumb, but it is sort of entertaining to think that maybe this is what it is like for gemini and taco when they reply, always supportively, back-and-forth on each other's comments... >8-P

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 09:48 1

13. snowgator (Posts: 3187; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Okay hepresearch, this time YOU rock!! Laughed a lot. And a very optimistic outlook. :-D

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 11:32

14. hepresearch (unregistered)


Well, you know... every once in a while the awesomeness just pops out at random... 8-)

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 02:51 3

4. tahnik (Posts: 125; Member since: 17 Jul 2011)


this will be really epic....i wont say they will beat everyone....but for sure something big is coming....

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 02:56 1

6. hepresearch (unregistered)


I like to think that you are right on the money.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 03:01

7. tahnik (Posts: 125; Member since: 17 Jul 2011)


:D....

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 06:30

8. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 801; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


I hope they'll create a bang in Q1 2012

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 06:32 2

9. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


imagine, Ice Cream Sandwich powered Cybershot-Playstation Phone.. gosh Sony..

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 14:16

17. desertfox85 (Posts: 3; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


This is not Hollywood buddy... ;-)

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 06:50

11. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


Can someone please tell me how Ericsson pulled their weight in this partnership? From what I can tell they are just mooching off Sony.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 07:40

12. akhi216 (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 May 2011)


Everyone knew this was coming. It was only a matter of time. Hopefully now Sony can put out and higher-end PSPhone because that Xperia Play was rather lacking. The problem with SE phones as of today is that higher-end from them are non-existent.Come on SE, were like two months from ICS and you have no dual-core devices whatsoever? I'm guessing that Sony sees this and wants to change it. I anticipate big things. What Xbox Live is to Windows phones can be what PlayStation Network is to Android phones if Sony is serious. As long as they don't have another XPlay fail they should be fine.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 14:17

18. desertfox85 (Posts: 3; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Nozomi is coming... I just hope it arrives on time.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 12:06

15. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Well, Sony was waiting to put it's name on the upcoming "Nozomi" flagship.
Also, they planned to release it with ICS, and now that will take some time to be done perfectly, with their next gen custom UI.

Anyway, the prospects for that phone(as well as the whole future Sony xperia phone line) are extremely promising now, with the instant brand recognition badge on it.
That factor was seriously lacking in the US -
with most people being like Sony What? at the mention of Sony Ericsson.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 13:51

16. rockstarlive (Posts: 307; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


I think they are still going to keep the Xperia line, its been there since the X1.

Google is probably gonna team up with them, thats my prediction.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 19:03

19. corporateJP (Posts: 1499; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


"Here...here's a couple of billion dollars to take your name off the phone so we can just have ours on it."

That about sums it up.

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