It was the week that saw Ericsson quit its handset JV with Sony, while Nokia revealed its first smartphone with Microsoft’s OS and Android took the lead in the apps race.
Sony-Ericsson became just Sony this week after Ericsson agreed to sell its 50% stake to Sony for €1.05b ($1.5b). The Sony-Ericsson business will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony under the widely expected deal, although both companies also announced an initiative to develop wireless connectivity solutions across multiple platforms.
With access to Ericsson's patents portfolio via a broad IP cross-licensing agreement and ownership of five essential patent families, Sony will be able to integrate handsets more effectively into its overall digital media range in ways it was unable to effectively do under the JV with Ericsson, saysRethink Research director Caroline Gabriel.
Nokia chief Stephen Elop unveiled the first Nokia smartphone running the Windows Phone OS this week on the opening day of the Nokia World developer conference. It’s called the Lumia 800, and Elop billed it as the first handset to make the most of Windows Phone and amplify its best features.
On the bright side, analysts are mostly impressed with the Lumia and Nokia’s ability to differentiate it from the competition. On the downside, no one’s sure if it’s good enough to convince punters to not buy iPhones or Android phones. Also, says Informa Telecoms & Media’s David McQueen, waiting until next year to launch it in the US – the one major market Nokia still hasn’t cracked – is a mistake.
It was also the week that saw Android declared the new king of the smartphone heap in terms of both smartphones and app downloads.
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