Sony backs handset joint venture

Michael Carroll
17 Feb 2010

The boss of Sony Corporation says his firm remains committed to the Sony Ericsson handset joint venture, and promises a common user interface across all Sony devices.

Howard Stringer, Sony CEO, spoke at the unveiling of five new Sony Ericsson handsets on Monday - the eve of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. “I firmly support Bert [Nordberg] and the whole Sony Ericsson team,” he said, adding that the firms would look to roll out a “consistent UI across Sony and Sony Ericsson.”

The commitment should put paid to any rumors that Sony is growing unhappy with the handset JV, which has struggled to maintain market share over the past 12 months due to falling sales and ASPs.

A common interface across all devices – handsets and Sony’s gaming products – would also give Sony Ericsson access to 40 million registered Sony PlayStation users.

The new handsets unveiled last night – Vivaz, Vivaz Pro, X10, and X10 mini and mini pro - are an indication of the direction the firm is moving in terms of design, president Bert Nordberg said. One of the main areas the vendor will address in the coming year is sustainability, and Nordberg pledged that all handsets launched in 2011 would have strong green credentials.

“Consumers want to do business with firms who care about green issues,” Nordberg says.

The vendor’s focus is on providing communications and entertainment, said chief creation officer Rikko Sakaguchi, adding that “making people smile” is a key goal at the firm.

The new handsets unveiled last night give an idea of what the new UI might look like, and also point to the future of Sony Ericsson, according to president Bert Nordberg. He says the firm is increasingly focussed on environmental concerns, and unveiled its first green handset, the Aspen.

Nordberg pledged to make all of the firm’s handsets eco-friendly by 2011.

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