Android Phones

Rumor: Sony & Ericsson may dissolve partnership

October 6, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Sony Mobile

Android based Sony Ericsson handsets will take "some time"

Sony Ericsson, the joint venture by Sony Corp. and Ericsson, is rumored to be nearing a split. The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony wants to buy Ericsson’s stake in the business so it can have more control over its mobile offerings.

Of course, this is nothing new. Sony Ericsson has been rumored to be nearing a split on multiple occasions since Japan-based Sony and Sweden-based Ericsson joined in 2001. However, according to WSJ sources, this deal is being pushed harder because Sony wants direct control of its mobile operations.

Consumers often forget that Sony Ericsson is not the same as Sony. SE is a joint venture with a level of independence from Sony Corp., which is why some may see different strategies implemented in the Xperia Play and Sony Tablet P. These devices might have been very different – or perhaps one of them non-existent – if they were created in-house by teams answering to the same people. Instead, the arguably conflicting devices co-exist and don’t integrate as smoothly as what rivals create. Sony wants to be able to have more consistency over its devices, and it wants to increase the pace of development. Doing so requires complete control of operations, according to the WSJ.

It’s important to remember that these types of rumors are practically as old as Sony Ericsson. There’s no telling how truthful they may be, but it might be beneficial for the two companies to split. Sony Ericsson has been terribly slow in keeping up with its Android competition, and pooling the resources and focus of SE and Sony Corp’s Android efforts might accelerate innovation and device improvements. Two heads are better than one is a popular old adage, but so is the lesson of too many cooks in the kitchen. Perhaps it’s time Sony wrestles control of its recipe.