SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Sony Corp. said Thursday (Oct. 27) it signed a deal to acquire Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson's 50 percent stake in the mobile handset joint venture between the two companies, Sony Ericsson, for 1.05 billion euro (about $1.49 billion)
Sony Ericsson will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony (Tokyo), the company said. The deal also includes a broad IP cross-licensing agreement and ownership of key patents, Sony said.
The London-based joint venture, established by the two companies in 2001, has been floundering for years, struggling to market smartphones that approximate the popularity of Apple Inc.'s iPhone or leading Android-based handsets. According to Sony, the company has about 11 percent market share in Android phones and 80 percent of its revenue is derived from smartphones.
Howard Stringer, Sony's president, chairman and CEO, said in a statement that the deal was a logical step for Sony and would enable the company to integrate smartphones into its product portfolio, giving customers seamless connectivity and access to content on a broader range of devices.
"We can more rapidly and more widely offer consumers smartphones, laptops, tablets and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another and open up new worlds of online entertainment," Stringer said.
Sony will enhance its focus on enabling connectivity for all devices, using its R&D and industry patent portfolio to realize "a truly connected world," Stringer said. "We can help people enjoy all our content—from movies to music and games—through our many devices, in a way no one else can," Stringer said.
The deal is expected to close in January 2012, Sony said. It remains subject to closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, the company said.
SonyErricson has developed itself as a strong brand among the customers. They come up with hip phone and they have different kind of following. However, they have struggled with smartphones and tablet segments. The reason to buyout majority shares in Ericsson is not given but the venture was going solid.
Sony has been trying.
The quality of 3D TV is impressive. I have been in SonyStyle shop to check out their 3D TV. The improvement over a year and half is substantial. If I am not wrong, I believe they are the first vendor to leverage the special glasses for improvement the 3D experience. Now, with all the stumbling block and slow market penetration, they have invented personal 3D viewer.
In camera area, they have invented a digital camera which can take panorama picture. It is handy and extremely useful when I visited Grand Canyon.
Sony was properly one of the first few companies who makes eReader even before Amazon.
PS3 is a pretty good game console. Blu-ray is among a lot of inventions that Sony has made lately. The strategy of penetrating Blu-ray to the market, kicking HD-DVD out, is worth studying.
I believe Sony has been continuing to innovate although not all products are successful. I can't wait to see what excellent product they will launch after holding majority control of Ericsson. It is indeed a good move for Sony given the trend.
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