updated 11:40 pm EST, Wed February 15, 2012
Sony now controls phone strategy entirel
Sony at early Thursday Japanese time formally completed its buyout of Ericsson's stake in Sony Ericsson. The move now leaves Sony Mobile Communications as a completely Sony-owned company. Bert Nordberg would still be CEO of the mobile group, which it revealed had about 100 million euros ($130.3 million) in stated working capital.
The company stressed that it would make mobile a "vital element" of Sony as a whole, helping it integrate closely with PCs, tablets, TVs, and other home electronics. What that entailed was still left vague, although some of this had been tipped at Sony's CES 2012 event. Among its efforts is PlayMemories, a rough analogue to Apple's iCloud that syncs and shares media between mobile devices, PCs, and TVs.
Its first two devices to use the purely Sony name will be the soon-to-be relabeled Xperia S (pictured) and Xperia ion. Extra mid-range phones such as the Xperia U and Xperia P are anticipated at Sony's special event at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month.
Sony Ericsson has been rapidly sliding in influence after being late to a smartphone-first strategy. Its status as a joint venture, partly detached from Sony, has been blamed not just for making integration difficult but for delaying heavily requested PlayStation phones until last year's Xperia Play. Apple's complete ownership of the pipeline and ability to coordinate its computers, mobile devices, and services has been credited with a large part of the iPhone's appeal.