JAPANESE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS GIANT Sony has bought Ericsson's stake in its mobile phone venture for €1.05bn.
Sony Ericsson was the merger of two ailing phone makers back in 2001 and while some would question how strong the firm is now against its rivals, Sony has decided to buy out Ericsson's stake by paying the firm €1.05bn. The move will result in Sony Ericsson, presumably renamed without the Ericcson suffix, becoming part of Sony's operations and most importantly bringing its patent portfolio.
Both Sony and Ericsson have agreed to the deal, but said that the last 10 years worth of work was time well spent. Back in 2001 when the Sony Ericsson joint venture was announced both firms' handset divisions were losing money, and while Sony Ericsson's financials have never been superb, it has reported profits. The firm also claimed that its Android smartphones account for 11 per cent of the smartphone market.
Sony Ericsson has cited Google's Android operating system as the reason for its success in the smartphone market. While the company doesn't have any killer smartphones, its Xperia range certainly hasn't embarrassed itself against competing smartphones built by HTC and Samsung.
Sony claims its decision to buy out Ericsson will help it integrate smartphones into its "network connected consumer electronics devices" such as tablets, televisions and computers.
Given that Ericsson is busy trying to flog its network infrastructure kit to operators looking to deploy 4G networks around the world, it's not surprising the firm couldn't be bothered to hang on to a share of the measly €90m profit Sony Ericsson racked up during 2010. µ
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