While the hardware has been nice the Sony Ericsson Xperia brand of Android phones hasn’t faired nearly as well as the likes of Samsung, HTC, Motorola and even LG. Their latest Android device to hit the states, the Shiny Ericsson Xperia Ray had to be released as an unlocked device because Sony Ericsson was unable to come to terms for a carrier deal.
The previous device to hit the United States, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play was unable to muster up much excitement or sales despite the fact that it was the first PlayStation approved Android phone, and available on two carriers (AT&T and Verizon).
Digital Trends is reporting today that Sony may be rethinking their decades old partnership with Ericsson and contemplating a buyout of Ericsson’s 50%. Ten years ago Sony Ericsson had nearly 10% of the market share. Today that number is closer to 3%.
In addition to their consumer phone business Ericsson has been hard at work with their network infrastructure business found in many carriers 4G/LTE networks. Although they manufacture 4G/LTE equipment they have yet to release a consumer device to utilize those same networks.
One of the biggest factors being contemplated in this decision are the patents which Sony and Ericsson jointly own. We are facing a long road of extremely tough patent litigation and neither side can afford to give up patent control.
Sony is hoping that by shifting the mobile business into their successful consumer electronics business and gaming business they will have more success fulfilling the needs of their potential customers.
Sony’s Android tablets are released under the Sony consumer electronics brand and not part of their joint venture with Ericsson.
Source: Digital Trends