back to article Sony and Ericsson divorce

Sony is paying €1.05bn in cash to buy out its partner in mobile telephony, though it gets ongoing patent rights and ownership of some key intellectual property as security. The deal has been approved by both sides, and is expected to complete by January, enabling Sony to start dropping mobile phones into its whole product …


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  1. 1Rafayal

    I really, really hope this will mean something like a credible Playstation phone.

    1. Thomas 4

      Well, this is going to ruin someone's day

      Either the PSP line is going to be phased out or Xperia Play is going to be phased out. No point having to competing ecosystems.

  2. Arrrggghh-otron

    Bye bye Ericsson...

    You made same great phones back in the day (T28, T39, P800 etc).

    Sony, you are dead to me... dead I tell you!

    1. Ilgaz

      ericsson is ibm

      Ericsson is more like IBM today excelling in services and huge network installations. Sony can always keep using their parts. This decision will wake them from the dead for sure since the culture clash will be over.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      T39 was a lemon

      I sent mine back six times, it always had the same problem even after being replaced, which was the callee couldn't hear you unless you did a Dom Joly act. I decided not to buy another Ericsson after that, Sony or otherwise.

  3. Christopher Rogers
    Thumb Up

    Its about time too. I want to see Sony set up an ecosystem to slap google and apple. I just fear that Sony's inherent lack of joined up thinking will stop this from happening.

    1. Boothy
      Paris Hilton

      Why would they slap Google?

      The current SE phones run Android, the new Sony Tablets run Android, this will almost certainly mean any new Sony phones will also be Android.

      1. Greg J Preece

        What Boothy said. Even the new Sony e-reader I'm eyeing up runs Android. They obviously like it well enough.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Maybe with Google it was a reference to the Motorola purchase?

    2. Christopher Rogers

      Android OEMs pay MS a licence and Oracle are on the verge of suing the ass out of Google. Sony should consider going their own way. Thats the point of my suggestion. I wonder if HP will licence WebOS....

  4. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    Why is it that these things always go kaput just as I buy into them? I seem to have a habit of getting started with something just as it's about to drop dead. It's really quite annoying.

    Ooh, I know, I'll buy an iPhone. Apple will be out of the phone business a week later. Rejoice world, I have come to save you from their tyranny!

  5. spencer

    A good thing for Sony

    If they can leverage the Playstation brand into their mobile phones whilst still having the Android ecosystem then they have the best of everything. Also they will have something that will separate them from the rest of the Android pack, possibly creating user loyalty.

    1. Ralph B

      "If they can leverage the Playstation brand"

      Yeah, like they leveraged their Walkman brand.

      1. Fuzz

        Problem with the Walkman brand

        The problem with the Walkman brand was that it had ceased to be recognised as such. A Walkman had long ago become a generic name for a personal portable cassette player with headphones. People aren't bothered about owning a phone with a built in Walkman; a phone with a built in iPod, now that's a different matter.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ...and the "CyberShot" brand.

  6. Piro Silver badge


    It was always the "Ericsson" part of Sony Ericsson that I liked.

    Not a great branding exercise, the way I see it..

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Sony without Ericsson? Garfunkel without Simon.

      The Sony of Akio Morita was a great company, because what was good for customers was good for Sony too. As they diversified into media holdings and services, that relationship weakened, and now in many cases, what's good for Sony isn't too hot for customers.

      It's hard to believe that the same company could go from defending the rights of viewers to time-shift their TV viewing in the US Supreme Court in 1984, to installing covert software on users' PCs to prevent them format-shifting legitimately purchased CDs in just sixteen years.

      I'd be sorry to see the "Ericsson" brand go from phones. Chances were, your first phone was a Nokia, Motorola or Ericsson. These three companies created the mobile phone revolution - it's sad to see that now only Nokia retains any independence (and even then by ceding most of its high-profile product range to Microsoft).

      Ericsson, the telecommunications company, is alive and well, though. It's just a shame to see its name disappear from the minds of customers.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sony can't be trusted to do right by customers

    Damn. Grab the phones while you can, Sony will lock them down in some ludicrous way the moment the get full control.

    Se had come round to unlocking their android devices and doing the right thing for their users, now we get a controlling bunch of shits with a history of screwing over their customers on IP rights control.

    1. Andy Fletcher

      Posted by Anonymous?

      What, you want to be able to install Yellow Dog Linux on your phone or something?

      1. Paul Shirley

        my SE phone decided I was AC for me

        [my AC post above was from an SE phone, which was playing hard to get and hit the AC button for me. DOH!]

        Linux? Already got it on my Play ;)

        No, I want to feel comfortable that I can carry on updating Android after Sony drop support for my phone. That I can rely on rooting it if needed. That there's no bloatware Sony can add that I can't remove. That the promised ICS update won't be boobytrapped by some control hungry Sony suit or if it is it can be defanged.

        On a more 'what if' basis: that I can carry on just dropping media onto the phone without some Sony DRM/piracy detection scheme interfering and without having to use a Sony app to do it. Remember, this is the company that though rootkits are an appropriate thing to put on audio CDs.

        Right now SE are happily unlocking bootloaders for most of their Android phones and helping 3rd party OS devs, Sony could kill that overnight. A locked bootloader is the kiss of death to 3rd party support.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          I think BMG were the problem

          The hardware Sony side seems fine, I think it is the idiots at BMG who have screwed up, in fact I am sure I remember reading that Sony HQ were not best pleased at BMG Rootkit.

          BMG music seems to be full of junk anyway.

          As to SE phones, My daughter has a small Android one which seems pretty good, she uses the radio and media playback all the time.

          I hope the phones though keep good as they are a potential supplier when it is time to replace my Symbian Nokia (I do not like the Windows phones), N9 was nice though.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Does this mean the "Sony Ericsson" brand is going away, and all subsequent phones will be branded "Sony" only, or are they keeping the brand?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      With any luck Ericsson will keep making dumb phones, leaving the smart stuff to Sony. You see, all I need my phone to do is make and receive calls and texts. Throw in a Bluetooth PAN for good measure in case one needs the WWW whilst away from a WiFi point and I can use my iPod for all the smart stuff.

      You know what will happen of course...

  9. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Up

    Yes, their experience with PSN and the PS3 OS will make it easy to offer features such as:

    * Make a call anytime* you like!!! (*latest OS update may have to be installed first)

    * 400 apps!!! From over 50 authorized developers!!!

    * An app store with 100kbps download rate per user - guaranteed*!!! (*not guaranteed)

    * Automatic publication* of your account details!!! (*requires 3rd party SQL injection tool)

    And all this for only twice* the price of the nearest competitor!!! (*base model only)


    1. MJI Silver badge

      Authorised developers

      Erm Sony do own some of the most talented games studios there are.


  10. Badbob

    I've already jumped ship

    Like a poster above said, my first phone, way back in 1998 was a Motorola (StarTAC), then I had a Nokia (nk402), then in 2001 I made the jump to Ericsson with a T68 and have been using SE phones ever since.

    But recently, I have been dissapointed with SE's equipment. They seem overpriced, under-specified and lacking in updates. I was on the verge of changing manufacturers when this news came about last week. So I went out and bought a Motorola Atrix. Farewell SE.

    1. Afflicted.John

      Totally disagree - the SE Xperia Mini Pro is a cracking phone. Well built with a fantastic UI. SE might have gotten off on the wrong foot but they have found their groove in both design and uability this year. You cannot really pick holes in any of their new range from the Mini right up to the Arc S apart from not having a true power users phone with dual cores. They should be quicker to get one of them out...

  11. npo4


    I still use an SE featurephone and really like it, it's just a shame their moving away from them, so I guess I just won't upgrade...

    I thought Nokia and SE made the best featurephones lately, but now it looks like both are changing ways.

    1. Ilgaz

      S40 is OK

      Even that microsoft trojan had to announce new feature phones coming so nokia's feature phones seems in good hands. Unless they mess up with linux fantasies of course.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Nokia aghhh!

      Still like my old X6 nicer to use than the N8 anyway

      1. Ilgaz

        same here

        Amusing that I finally broke the badly designed charger port of my e71 and I wonder around with a 3600 slide now.

        What bugs me is the fact that this dumb phone has some real clever preferences and the stuff really matters, opera mini and nimbuzz works perfectly.

        Funny that I was monkeying with offline profile to re-register to cell tower forgetting the fact that it takes 3 secs to reboot a feature phone.

        As an ex sony ericsson k700i owner I fail to understand their decision too. I still miss my phone which is at bottom of some river now :)

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Having used both...

        Disagree. Symbian Anna on the N8 is an improvement on the Series 60 5th Edition on the X6 and the N8 has support for pinch and zoom. Apart from sluggishness, re-organising the main menu is painful on the X6.

        Apparently you can get a CFW Symbian Anna for the X6 though.

  12. ssu

    Good luck to the SEM people in Lund

    Sony never have seemed to be able to get the various parts of the company to work together, films, music, playstation and electronics all seem to work as totally independant companies. You would think with all the music and film ownership that it would have given them a great advantage in portable music devices, video devices and consoles.

    Hopefully this won't mean too many job losses in Lund, Sweden where SEM are based.

  13. JeffyPooh

    Compare and contrast

    Sony PSP SmartPhone - hundreds of nice games for $10.00 to $30.00 each.

    Apple iPhone - tens of thousands of nice games for FREE to $0.99 each.


    1. MJI Silver badge

      The games

      Those games however are pretty good ones, hence the price.

      However no way would I pay that much for a phone, get a PSV and PS3 for same cost

  14. Levente Szileszky

    Should've done it long time ago; sood times ahead for Sony IF...

    ...they can change their screwed-up corporate culture.

    Seriously, SE was deeply in red BEFORE first Android units started to arrive - that was the perfect time to buy out Ericsson... alas, Sony was, and to some extent still is, a mess at corporate level.

    Anyhow, it's good news, full integration of all Sony services etc can go ahead now and past incidents of being treated like other 3rd party customers (eg various part shortages with K-series because Sony sold everything to Samsung etc) are the thing of the past, they really should spin up their turnaround time.

    I see 3 important steps that needs to be done:


    Seriously, the uber-buggy Xperia launches are downright EMBARRASSING, let alone turning away people for years and when they stick around all they get is dog-slow update pace, only to be abandoned in a year or less... it is _THE THING_ on a phone now, the software stack, treat it accordingly.

    2. KEEP CURHING OUT EXCLUSIVE FEATURES - eg are you really THAT stupid, Sony?

    Stop selling your superior 8MP Exmor chip to Apple, for example... thanks God Apple has no clue how to handle post-processing the digitized image that comes out of your chip but they learn fast, we know that. Or if you really want to sell it in such numbers then impose a 12-month exclusivity before you give it to your competitiors, how hard is it to understand...?


    No offense but all you Japanese are seriously and royally 100% certified weirdos, period. You have absolutely NO CLUE about the US or even Europe, the mega-fuckups of the past few years were really hair-raising (just one example: Xperia X10 was one of the very few phones that came with T-Mobile USA's 1700MHz by default - so what SE you do? Gave it to the iPhone-whoring AT&T who never gave a flying frog about and started selling at half the price of the iPhone... talk about destroying your own brand!)

    I also heard from various sales people that nobody EVER asked for any feedback or requests, they don't care, they just dream up some crazy ideas in Japan (as well as in Sweden) then these ppl have to sell it.

    Oh, speaking of selling it: really? You really think training your sales people is unnecessary? Yes, you do not train your sales people. At all.

  15. J. R. Hartley
    Thumb Down


    My W995 is the best phone I have ever had! Shame it's the end of the line for Walkman phones. iPhone next for me sadly :(

  16. IsJustabloke

    I CHOOSE to enoble a simple forum post!

    Presumably we'll see the standard bits and bobs dissapear too... you'll need a proprietry charger... a proprietry SD card (memory stick, ecatly the same technology but in an exciting new shape!) .... a proprietry set of head phones... micro USB? Sony speet on micro USB , it'll have a "micro data conectivity interaction port".[tm] (which will be a micro usb port but in a funny shape) they''ll be a seperate MDCIP required tocharge the phone too.

    This is the SONY way.... it'll be shiny, it'll be pretty but by god to use it you're gonna buy your bits and bobs from Sony.

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