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SONY MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS INC. is a multinational telecommunications company founded on October 1, 2001 as a joint venture between Sony
Sony
and Ericsson
Ericsson
, headquartered in Tokyo
Tokyo
, Japan
Japan
and wholly owned by Sony. It was originally incorporated as SONY ERICSSON, until Sony
Sony
acquired Ericsson's share in the venture on February 16, 2012.

Sony
Sony
Mobile has research and development facilities in Kenya, Africa ; Chennai, India ; Lund, Sweden
Sweden
; Beijing, China and Silicon Valley, USA .

Speculation began about a possible sale by Ericsson
Ericsson
of its mobile phone division, but the company's president, Kurt Hellström, said it had no plans to do so. Hellström said, "Mobile phones are really a core business for Ericsson. We wouldn't be as successful (in networks) if we didn't have phones".

Sony
Sony
was a marginal player in the worldwide mobile phone market with a share of less than 1 percent in 2000. By August 2001, the two companies had finalised the terms of the merger announced in April. Ericsson
Ericsson
contributed a majority of the Ericsson
Ericsson
Mobile Communications company, excluding a minor part spun off as Ericsson
Ericsson
Mobile Platforms . Sony
Sony
contributed its entire handset division. The company was to have an initial workforce of 3,500 employees.

2001 TO 2010

Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
logo used from 2001 until 2012

Sony
Sony
Ericsson's strategy was to release new models capable of digital photography as well as other multimedia capabilities such as downloading and viewing video clips and personal information management capabilities. To this end, it released several new models which had built-in digital camera and color screen which were novelties at that time. The joint venture continued to make bigger losses in spite of booming sales.

In 2005, Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
introduced the K750i with a 2 megapixel camera, as well as its platform mate, the W800i , the first of the Walkman phones capable of 30 hours of music playback, and two low-end phones.

In 2007, the company's first 5- Megapixel
Megapixel
camera phone, the Sony Ericsson
Ericsson
K850i, was announced followed in 2008 by the Sony
Sony
Ericsson C905, the world's first 8- Megapixel
Megapixel
phone. At Mobile World Congress 2009, Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
unveiled the first 12- Megapixel
Megapixel
phone, named Satio.

In 2005, Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
agreed to become the global title sponsor for the WTA Tour in a deal worth $88 million US dollars over 6 years. The women's pro tennis circuit was renamed the Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
WTA Tour. Just over a month later on June 7, it announced sponsorship of West Indian batsmen Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle
and Ramnaresh Sarwan . In October 2005, Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
presented the first mobile phone based on UIQ
UIQ
3, the P990 .

On January 2, 2009, Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
announced in Stockholm
Stockholm
that it would have some of its mobile phones made in India, and that its two outsourcing partners, Flextronics
Flextronics
and Foxconn
Foxconn
would manufacture ten million mobile phones per year by 2009. CEO Miles Flint announced at a press conference held with India's communications minister Dayanidhi Maran in Chennai
Chennai
that India was one of the fastest growing markets in the world and a priority market for Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
with 105 million users of GSM mobile telephones. Annual net income or loss 2003 to 2009

Sony
Sony
Ericsson's handset shipments fell from a high of 30.8m in Q4 1999 to only 8.1m in Q1 2003. The company had made net losses in six of the 15 quarters and seen its cash reserves shrink from €2.2bn to €599m, after taking a €375m cash injection from its joint owners. The eclipse of the Symbian
Symbian
operating system, initially by Apple's iPhone, and then by Google
Google
's Android , has affected Sony
Sony
Ericsson's position in the market. The company also struggled following the launch of Apple\'s iPhone in the third quarter of 2007.

Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
was overtaken by its South Korean rival LG Electronics in Q1 2008. Sony
Sony
Ericsson's company's profits fell significantly by 43% to €133 million (approx. US$180 million), sales falling by 8% and market share falling from 9.4% to 7.9%, despite favourable conditions that the handset market was expected to grow by 10% in 2008. Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
announced another profit warning in June 2008 and saw net profit crash by 97% in Q2 2008, announcing that it would cut 2,000 jobs, leading to wide fear that Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
was on the verge of decline along with its struggling rival, Motorola
Motorola
. In Q3 the profits were much on the same level, however November and December saw increased profits along with new models being released such as the C905 being one of the top sellers across the United Kingdom.

In June 2008, Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
had about 8,200 employees, it then launched a cost-cutting program and by the end of 2009 it had slashed its global workforce by around 5,000 people. It has also closed R Miami, Seattle, San Diego and RTP (Raleigh, NC) in the USA; The Chennai
Chennai
Unit ( Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
) in India; Hässleholm and Kista in Sweden and operations in the Netherlands. The UIQ
UIQ
centres in London and Budapest were also closed, UIQ
UIQ
was a joint venture with Motorola
Motorola
which began life in the 1990s.

2010 TO PRESENT

Sony
Sony
Xperia
Xperia
Z2 , released in 2014, is Sony
Sony
Mobile's former flagship device

On October 27, 2011, Sony
Sony
announced that it would acquire Ericsson's stake in Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
for €1.05 billion ($1.47 billion), making the mobile handset business a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony. The transaction's completion was expected to occur in January 2012. At their keynote at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show , Sony's Kaz Hirai announced that Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
would be known simply as Sony
Sony
Mobile Communications pending completion of the transaction. On January 26, 2012, the European Union approved the buyout. On February 16, 2012, Sony
Sony
announced it had completed the full acquisition of Sony
Sony
Ericsson. On January 7, 2013, Sony
Sony
Mobile completed moving its headquarters from Lund
Lund
, Sweden
Sweden
to Tokyo
Tokyo
, Japan
Japan
in order to fully integrate with its parent company. The first Sony-only mobile was the Sony
Sony
Xperia
Xperia
S at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. Sony
Sony
Mobile Communications decided to phase out all the feature (non-smart) phones by September 2012 and focus completely on the smartphones segment.

On July 2, 2012, Sony
Sony
announced it was buying Gaikai, a cloud service to support its expansion into the cloud gaming realm. Sony
Sony
paid a reported $380 million to acquire Gaikai
Gaikai
. The Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
Liquid Energy Logo, which was the hallmark logo used on Sony
Sony
Mobile products up until the 2012 series of phones, was replaced with a new power button designed as the new signature hallmark to easily identify a Sony
Sony
phone and this debuted with the 2013 series of Xperia
Xperia
mobile phones. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show the Sony
Sony
Xperia
Xperia
Z and Sony
Sony
Xperia
Xperia
ZL were announced, followed by the Sony
Sony
Xperia
Xperia
Z1 , unveiled during a press conference in IFA 2013, the Sony
Sony
Xperia
Xperia
Z2 during the 2014 Mobile World Congress
Mobile World Congress
in Barcelona
Barcelona
, Spain
Spain
, and the Sony
Sony
Xperia
Xperia
Z3 in IFA 2014.

On October 30, 2014, Sony
Sony
announced that Senior Vice President
President
of Corporate Planning, Finance and New Business Creation Department Hiroki Totoki will replace Kunimasa Suzuki as President
President
and CEO of Sony
Sony
Mobile Communications with effect from November 16, 2014. Suzuki subsequently became the Group Executive of Sony
Sony
Corporation after his departure from Sony
Sony
Mobile Communications.

In the last quarter of 2015, Sony
Sony
Mobile had the highest per-handset-profit and average selling price of all major Android handset manufacturers.

OPERATIONS

Sony
Sony
Mobile offices in Lund, Sweden
Sweden

In 2009, Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
announced that it was moving its North American headquarters from Research Triangle Park, North Carolina to Atlanta
Atlanta
. The headquarters move was part of a plan to reduce its workforce, then 10,000 employees, by 20%. As of that year, Sony Ericsson
Ericsson
had 425 employees in Research Triangle Park; the staff had been reduced by hundreds due to layoffs. Stacy Doster, a spokesperson of Sony
Sony
Ericsson, said that the proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
Atlanta
International Airport 's flights to Latin America
Latin America
and the operations of AT"> Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
Xperia
Xperia
Play open

In 2011, Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
announced the first PlayStation
PlayStation
Certified phone the Xperia
Xperia
Play which meant that it had access to PlayStation Mobile games. The previously released Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
Xperia
Xperia
Arc, and Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
Xperia
Xperia
acro became the next PlayStation
PlayStation
Certified devices followed by the Sony
Sony
Xperia
Xperia
S, Sony
Sony
Xperia
Xperia
ion and other Sony Tablets.

PRODUCTS

A Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
W200i mobile phone For detailed information about Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
and Sony
Sony
Mobile Communications products, see list of Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
products .

SONY ERICSSON SMARTPHONES

Since 2012 all products by Sony
Sony
Mobile have been in the Xperia
Xperia
range - launched with the Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
Xperia
Xperia
X1 at the 2008 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
Barcelona
, which carried the Windows Mobile
Windows Mobile
operating system with a Sony
Sony
Ericsson's panel interface. The Xperia
Xperia
X10 model launched in 2010 features the Android operating system. In 2011 Sony Ericsson
Ericsson
carried a range of mid and high-end Android smartphones all using the same SoC , only differentiating in form factor, screen size and multimedia capabilities. Although in 2012 the phones already carried the Sony
Sony
brand on them, they were still (mostly) developed by Sony
Sony
Ericsson, as can be seen from the green logo on the back of handsets like the Xperia
Xperia
S and Xperia
Xperia
T .

SONY SMARTPHONES

The line-up in 2013 brought an entirely different design of phones, first seen on the Xperia
Xperia
Z smartphone, and called 'OmniBalance' (roughly translated as 'balance everywhere') by Sony. In 2014 Sony stated to be focusing more on the high-end phone market and reducing the number of low and mid-end products. The first model launched in 2015 was the Xperia
Xperia
Z3+ , featuring updated internals in a body similar to the Xperia
Xperia
Z3 .

WEARABLES

Sony
Sony
(then Sony
Sony
Ericsson) has been making Bluetooth
Bluetooth
enabled watches from as early as 2006. In 2010 the LiveView smartwatch was launched, featuring a colour OLED display that let the user view notifications and control the music player. The successors Smartwatch 1, Smartwatch 2 and Smartwatch 3 were launched in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively.

In 2014 a fitness tracking band, named SmartBand, was introduced. The device's data is accessed using an Android application named Lifelog , which presents statistics about their everyday activities. In 2015, a successor to the SmartBand was introduced, named SmartBand 2, which can track user's heart rate, movements, sleep, and the moments they are calm or excited.

APPLICATIONS

Sony
Sony
Mobile offers a wide range of applications, ranging from music and videos to camera and gaming apps. Some of Sony
Sony
Mobile's most popular apps include:

* TrackID - mobile music and audio recognition service. * Xperia
Xperia
Lounge - music, film and mobile entertainment app. * Lifelog - activity tracking and fitness app designed for Android devices. * PlayStation Video
PlayStation Video
- online film and television programme distribution service that first was offered by Sony
Sony
Entertainment Network . * PS4 Remote Play - Remote Play allows PS4 games to be played on Xperia
Xperia
smartphones and tablets.

FORMER PRODUCTS

* BRAVIA
BRAVIA
range - launched 2007 in Japan. To date, five BRAVIA branded phones have been produced: Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
( FOMA
FOMA
SO903iTV, FOMA SO906i, U1, S004, and S005 ). * The Walkman -branded W series music phones, launched in 2005. The Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
W-series music phones were notable for being the first music-centric series mobile phones. A notable feature was a 'W' button, which when pressed opens the media centre. * The Cyber-shot
Cyber-shot
-branded line of phones, launched in 2006 in newer models of the K series phones. This range of phones are focused on the quality of the camera included with the phone. Cyber-shot
Cyber-shot
phones always include a flash, some with a xenon flash, and also include auto-focus cameras. Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
kicked off its global marketing campaign for Cyber-shot
Cyber-shot
phone with the launch of 'Never Miss a Shot'. In February 2008, the series was expanded with the announcement of C702, C902 and C905 phones. * The UIQ
UIQ
smartphone range of mobiles, introduced with the P series in 2003 with the introduction of P800. They are notable for their touchscreens, QWERTY keypads (on most models), and use of the UIQ interface platform for Symbian
Symbian
OS. The range was subsequently expanded with the M series and G series. * The GreenHeart range - first introduced in 2009 with the Sony Ericsson
Ericsson
J105i Naite and C901 GreenHeart. Focused on an environmentally friendly theme, it mainly used eco-friendly materials and featured eco-apps.

SALES AND MARKET SHARE

Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
posted its first profit in the second half of 2003. Since then, the sales figures from phones have been: Annual shipments of units 2003 to 2009

CALENDAR YEAR UNIT SALES (MILLIONS)

2004 42

2005 50

2006 74.8

2007 103.4

2008 96.6

2009 57.1

2010 43.1

2011 34.4

2012 34.3

2013 38.4

2014 40.0

2015 29.4

2016 14.6

2017 15.5 (forecast)

MARKETING CAMPAIGNS

Social media

During 2010, in 11 months, Sony
Sony
Ericsson's Facebook
Facebook
fan count rose from 300,000 to 4 million to become the 40th-largest brand on the social networking site. The company aims to capitalise on this fanbase and increase engagement by profiling these fans and matching them to dedicated content. It will also analyse the top commenters on the Facebook
Facebook
page and ensure engagement through special content and offering these fans the chance to visit Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
offices. Sports sponsorship

Until 2014, Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
/ Sony
Sony
Mobile sponsored the Sony
Sony
Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Miami. According to the head of global marketing partnerships, Stephan Croix, “our sport sponsorships allow us to promote our phones in a subtle and authentic way to our fanbase. Our promise to fans is to enrich their experience during the game but also before and after.”

Sony
Sony
Mobile is also a partner with the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
and sponsored the 2014 FIFA World Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup
in Brazil.

SEE ALSO

* Companies portal

* MyPhoneExplorer – full featured Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
manager software for Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
, able to backup, synch and editing almost all data on the phone via Bluetooth
Bluetooth
, infrared or USB * Media Go – music, photo, video, and game management software made for Sony
Sony
Ericsson
Ericsson
phones * Disc2Phone – music management software made for Sony
Sony
Ericsson phones * SonicStage
SonicStage
– music management software made for Japan
Japan
market phones * PlayNow – global content distribution portal * List of Sony
Sony
products

REFERENCES

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Sony
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Sony
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