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Sony Ericsson sets sights on top three

Sony Ericsson, the Swedish-Japanese handset maker, reached its fifth anniversary Monday and set itself the target of becoming one of the top three players within five years.

Over the past five years the 50:50 joint venture has leapt from a loss making sixth place to a profitable fourth position in terms of global handset market share, most recently eclipsing Korean vendor LG Electronics.

The company has seen considerable success from branded devices like the Walkman music phone and the Cyber-shot camera phone, as well as benefiting from its links with Sony BMG and Sony Pictures Entertainment, resulting in promotional tie-ins with recording artists like Christina Aguilera, and movies such as the The Da Vinci Code.

Now Miles Flint, Sony Ericsson president has his eyes set on a position in the top three currently dominated by Finnish vendor Nokia in number one spot, US firm Motorola in number two and Korea’s Samsung in third.

But in order to even catch up with Samsung, Sony Ericsson faces the task of doubling its market share within the next five years, while LG remains hot on its heels.

“We have the resources and the drive to become one of the top three players in our sector,” said Flint. “Our parents’ heritage provided us with many things that no other player in the telecoms sector has – infrastructure and telecoms know-how from Ericsson plus consumer electronics experience and entertainment properties from Sony. There is so much more to come as mobile communications continue to converge with imaging, audio/visual entertainment and consumer electronics,” he added.

To kick start its latest strategy, the company on Monday also announced it is giving its brand identity an overhaul “aimed at connecting more directly with the individual.” The new brand will make its appearance this month.

The company also plans to launch dedicated stores where it will sell devices direct to the consumer. The first one will open in London in November.


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