We'd heard the rumours, but we didn't think Sony would wrap up its proposed buyout of Ericsson's half of Sony Ericsson so quickly.
But this afternoon the Japanese electronics giant announced just that – that it had handed over 1.05 billion in crisp Euro bills to bring the mobile phone brand fully back under the Sony umbrella.
The partnership between Sony and Ericsson came together 10 years ago now, and while Sony Ericsson was always one of the market leaders in the feature phone era, it was caught out by the rise of smartphones and has been playing catch-up ever since, with mixed results.
Still, it's done well enough that 50% of the company is worth €1.05bn – or it is to Sony, anyway. And at a press conference to announce the deal, Sony boss Sir Howard Stringer made a few interesting comments that no doubt will keep the rumour mill well oiled over the next couple of months.
For starters, he wouldn't rule out the possibility of jumping on board the Windows Phone platform, saying anything is a possibility.
“We never say never to anything; we have to be adaptable in this industry, but obviously we're great Google customers,” Stringer said.
He even refused to completely write off the chances of acquiring the webOS platform pretty much everyone has been linked with in recent months, though he did say it's “not something we're thinking about”.
With the lines increasingly blurring between a wide range of connected devices across the mobile, gaming and home entertainment spaces, Sony believes having a single Sony-branded mobile phone entity fully under its control will strengthen its hand in what is a highly competitive market.
The company expects the deal to be finalised by early 2012, though it's too early to say when we'll see the first Sony-branded devices hit the market.