Well, something had to give. Sony Ericsson, once one of the most successful mobile manufacturers in the world, has become a bit of a laughing stock of late. It’s about a year behind rivals when it comes to dual-core, and the much-hyped Xperia Play – once touted as an “iPhone killer” – is languishing in bargain bins at £150.
It’ll come as little surprise then that Sony is reportedly in talks to buy out Ericsson from their ailing joint venture.
A source “with direct knowledge of the matter” told Reuters that Sony hopes to go it alone in future. At present, tablets (including the Tablet S and Tablet P), gaming devices (such as the PSP), and consumer electronics come from Sony, while smartphones come under Sony Ericsson.
"Up to now Sony's products and network services have all been separate. Unifying them would be positive," said Yoshiharu Izumi, analyst with JP Morgan Tokyo. "If they can leverage their games and other network services I think they can lift their share." Hmm, we’ll see.
"The talks are not something that have been announced by Sony. We are declining to comment," said a Sony spokeswoman in Tokyo. Not denying the existence of the talks then?
Sony Ericsson is well into double figures with its smartphone output this year, and the reaction has largely been “meh”.