Sony is back as a mobile brand; Ericsson bows out

Many years ago, both Ericsson and Sony existed as two separate mobile brands. Ericsson produced some of the finest mobile phones back then, and Sony had some unique devices going for them as well.

A merger happened in 2001, and Sony Ericsson was born. However, the joint venture was not the runaway success that many fans desired it to be. It wasn’t exactly a failure either.

Anyway, as of today, Sony Ericsson is no more, as Sony has bought out Ericsson from the joint venture. Sony is back!

I feel sad to see Ericsson go. I remember my Ericsson R320 and the R380s (the very first Symbian smartphone) with nostalgia. The R380s ran Symbian EPOC32 OS and had both a regular keypad and full touchscreen that required a stylus (supplied). Talk of Transformer smartphones back then.

Ericsson R380
Ericsson R380

I purchased mine in December 2002 and it was my very first smartphone.

Ericsson is being paid EUR 1.05 billion by Sony for their 50% share in the joint venture. This acquisition gives Sony more leverage to “rapidly integrate smartphones into its broad array of network-connected consumer electronics devices – including tablets, televisions and personal computers – for the benefit of consumers and the growth of its business”.

Let’s see how things play out. As always, the mobile landscape keeps changing – and often so fast.

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  1. I had always wished that should happened.Haven experienced second to none performance from Sony consumer electronics to date,i have no doubt in my mind that Sony can do better on its own than their shaky marriege with ericsson.Goodluck Sony,u have never dissappointed me in performance cos all my electronics are sony.

  2. I hope this translates to more focus from the company to actively compete in the smartphone market. I’m a fan of both companies. My first mobile device was an Ericsson T29 mobile phone, and everybody is familiar with Sony devices. I think Sony can go on without Ericsson & I’m anxious to see what the future holds.

  3. I was a fan of Sony before their merger with Ericsson and continued that until lately when I perceive they were no longer competing well enough in terms of innovation and pricing. Their first phones I used was the J70. It was ahead in terms of features and ease of use when compared to other phones in the same category.

    It continued through the merger with the introduction of the T-series and later the very successful K-series. I still have the K750i. Its major problem is it centre key and the battery.

    Sony is capable of turning things around but their pricing must be right for these survival.

  4. “I rememeber my Ericsson R320 and the
    R380s (the very first Symbian smartphone) with nostalgia.”

    Yomi, is that a typo or you really mean it? Did SonyEricsson produce the very first Symbian phone?

    1. No; it isn’t a typo. But…

      Sony Ericsson did not produce the first Symbian smartphone. As the article says, Ericsson did – the Ericsson R380. It was closely followed by the Nokia 9210 Coommunicator in the same year.

  5. Yomi, really incredible!

    I think at that time, Symbian was fully open source. The mobile world has come a long way indeed!

  6. i see Sony doing quite well all alone in the coming year. now, they will
    be able to fully integrate their smartphones into the ecosystem of their other devices. Since they will be producing only smartphone from next year, the company will be better focused.

    I remember their ceo during an interview saying they never took apple this serious, under estimating their competitors. Now they know better and ready to take on everyone in the coming year.

    I have always loved and bought sonyericsson devices especially because of the sound production from their music app. I have since jumped ship when i noticed android (my favourite OS) was better packaged by Samsung.

  7. Yemi, Isn’t symbian OS exclusive to Nokia?
    Or you’re saying it was later acquired by nokia.

    2ndly, what were d features of symbian then which warranted it to be a smartphone OS?

  8. Abdul,

    Symbian was an open platform and used by many manufacturers for many years. Nokia only acquired it recently.

    All the features that make Android a smartphone platform are exactly the same on Symbian till date.

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