Let's face it – Sony Ericsson's star has been on the wane for a couple of years now. It was caught out by the Android revolution and let down by Symbian's steady demise, and there have even been rumours that the Sony and Ericsson partnership may be nearing its end.
But with a fresh year comes a fresh outlook, and far from wallowing in the disappointment of another poor year, Sony Ericsson says it has learnt from its mistakes and is promising big things for 2011.
Speaking to Pocket-lint, the company's acting global head of marketing Steve Walker admitted that 2010 was a particularly bad year for Sony Ericsson, a year in which few if any of its high-profile handset releases had the desired impact. However, the roots of that disappointment, according to Walker, date back to 2008.
“When we started to design our 2010 handsets in 2008, nobody really knew the dynamics of the Android smartphone market or even what the smartphone market was going to be,” Walker said. “None of us could predict two years previously, to what extent users would switch into smartphones. None of us could really predict what would be more important and less important for consumers.”
However, even with the partial benefit of hindsight, Walker admits Sony Ericsson continued to underestimate Android's impact in 2010, and paid a heavy price.
“Last year we didn’t anticipate the strength of feeling that consumers would have towards the Android release. And again that was a learning experience of the first year of mass market Android smartphones.”
However, Walker says Sony Ericsson has now learnt its lesson and, having made the switch to embrace Android itself during 2010, is looking forward to a much better year in 2011.
“As we do every year, we’ve taken those learnings and applied them to the new products in the new portfolio. We do think we’ve taken a big step forward for 2011. What we think is different in 2011 is that consumer attention is swinging back to hardware once more. That’s not to say people aren’t focused on software, but that they are a little more in balance now.”
If so, the gorgeous Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc – announced at CES earlier this month – is sure to be a success, and of course we're all waiting with baited breath on the Xperia Play, or the 'PlayStation Phone' to use its more popular name.