Let me start by giving you a brief history lesson on Sony Ericsson. The Swedish based mobile telephone company Ericsson has roots that date back to the 1930’s but they made their mark on the industry in the mid 90’s.
In 1993 Ericsson were selling around 800,000 phones and were growing in strength right through to and beyond 1993 where they were hitting 32 million sales each year. It all started to go wrong though around 1998 when Ericsson had difficulty converting to the market changes, with consumers looking for cheap or less expensive phones and growing competition from fellow Scandinavian Nokia’s innovative phones designs and low selling costs. As if things weren’t bad enough they started to experience numerous technical issues from devices such as malfunctioning and model delays and circuit issues.
Fast forward to 2001 when fellow handset manufacturer and also struggling Sony decided to enter into a 50/50 deal with Ericsson for 10 years and the handsets were re-branded Sony Ericsson.
In the 10 years that were to follow the newly branded Sony Ericsson saw sales grow from around 42 million in 2004 to their best year in 2007 where they reached a whopping 103.4 million unit sales only to sadly decline the following years back down to 43.1 million in 2010.
Now at 2011 and with their 10 year join venture coming to an end both companies are now considering their future in the handset and tablet markets. With recent handsets like the Xperia Play functioned around the Sony PlayStation and other handsets such as the Arc and the Ray centered around Sony’s Bravia screen technology it looks like Sony are starting to consider buying out the shares that Ericsson has and going it alone.
The Ericsson brand has long since had a dominant part in the design or feature sets of handsets and this is testament to the growing success of Sony as an interdependent company outside the Sony Ericsson joint venture.
Exactly what the future holds is still uncertain though for both companies, the time is nearing to make that final decision.