Recent rumors have suggested that Sony may be about take over Ericsson’s 50% of the Sony Ericsson joint venture so that the company has complete control over its smartphone lineup. As things stand, according to one report, Sony feels it can take its smartphones further if it goes at it alone.
However, Sony’s executive deputy president, Kazuo Hirai, would not rule out a takeover at this week’s AsiaD conference. Hirai said that he has made it his mission since he took over consumer products at Sony in April to offer customers a “seamless” experience, and if that means no more joint venture, so be it:
“After April, when the latest management change happened at Sony and I was put in charge of all the consumer products, [one of the issues was] Sony Ericsson has a different reporting line.”
“One of the things I’ve done is to say whether this is a joint venture or not, the fact of the matter is the Sony Ericsson component is integral to Sony’s strategy going forward, and therefore it doesn’t matter if it’s a joint venture or not, we have to make sure we’re working in lockstep.”
“We have to understand what Sony Ericsson is doing and they have to understand what Sony is trying to do, from a marketing or other collaborative point of view. We have to make sure that happens, creating a seamless offering to our customers, and that’s something we’ve started working on with things like the Xperia Play.”
Although he didn’t specifically mention a takeover, Hirai does hint that Sony is willing to go solo if that’s what it takes to deliver the smartphone lineup that the company envisions. However, some of Sony Ericsson’s recent devices suggest the two companies are already working closer together.
As TechRadar notes, the integration of Sony brands such as Bravia, Exmor R, and PlayStation into the latest range of Xperia smartphones is a good indication that the two companies share the same mission. It’s hard to ignore recent rumors, however, especially when the come from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, so we’re not going to rule out a Sony takeover anytime soon.
Do you think Sony Ericsson smartphones would improve if Sony had complete control?