Sony Ericsson is coming to an end. Sony Corp will be buying out its Swedish mobile phone partner, Ericsson, for 1.05 billion euros, or $1.5 billion, as it pursues an opportunity to better integrate smartphones with its array of music and video content.
Until now the phones created by Sony Ericsson have been kept separate from Sony’s tablets, games and other devices. The company’s latest smartphone, the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY, was the first phone to be “PlayStation certified,” though was not hugely successful among consumers.
The Japanese corporation has a solid footing in the music industry with artists like Beyonce` and Britney Spears on its label, as well as box office credentials thanks to movies like Spider Man and Anonymous. In addition, Sony’s gaming console, PlayStation, spawns successful video games such as Legends of Norrah.
A Bit of History
Founded in 2001, Sony Ericsson initially thrived with products like the Walkman and Cyber-shot phones, with Sony matching its expertise in consumer electronics with Ericsson’s experience with phones. However, as of late the business has been lacking while trying to keep up with the smartphone race.
Previously, analysts anticipated a separating of ways, arguing Sony Ericsson could become more competitive under sole Sony ownership. Earlier this month the company broke even in its third quarter financial results. This deal ends a decade-long relationship between the two companies and marks Ericsson’s exit from the mobile handset business. The deal will give Sony ownership of five key patent families held by Ericsson, enabling it to cut costs in the Sony Ericsson venture.