Android is Sony Ericsson 'salvation'

2012-02-07 20:58
Android has given Sony Ericsson the ability to compete in the smartphone market. (Picture provided)

Android has given Sony Ericsson the ability to compete in the smartphone market. (Picture provided)

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Cape Town - Moving to the Android platform has given Sony Ericsson a foothold in the fast-changing smartphones market, the company has said.

"The key thing for us is we made the decision to move completely to Android at the beginning of last year [2011] and it turned out to be a very good decision for us because now we're always launching the latest Android version," Sony Ericsson Southern Africa marketing manager Colin Williamson told News24.

The company has been playing catch-up to other smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and Williamson said that the key development was Sony buying out Ericsson from the equal partnership established in 2001.

This buyout has allowed the firm to focus on being a Sony brand and South Africans could expect that the future devices will reflect this change.

"The key thing in the Sony stable is what they call the 'four screen interface'. And it includes things that they have traditionally been in charge of - TVs, laptops, tablets and phones," Williamson said.

Strategic decision

He alluded to Sony content that would become available on Xperia-branded smartphones.

"There's a whole raft of content and services that we would now be at the core of, as opposed to kind of a half-owned company."

Sony Entertainment Network was launched in Australia and New Zealand in 2011, in addition to Europe and the US. Users have access to Sony content, including games.

This moves the competition on smartphones away from the device and more toward the ecosystem of content and services. Sony Ericsson is hoping that demand for Sony movies, music and games will drive sales of the devices.

"The thing that those all centre around is the mobile phone which would be the port screen. So I think this is a major development for the company which allows us to probably be in a major position where we would be ahead of most of the competition," said Williamson.

Sony Ericsson took a strategic decision to focus on smartphones exclusively, and gamble paid off as basic phones sales only grew by 6.1% in the last three months of 2011, but smartphones sales have been accelerating, particularly in developed markets like the US, where 55% of new purchases were smartphones.

"We are completely smartphones now, we have completely moved away from the feature phone," Williamson said.

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