2/19/2009 11:55:00 AM
Sony Ericsson reveals its new focus for top-end handsets
Sony Ericsson will not use the Walkman or Cyber-shot brands on any of its new top-end phones and will instead focus on its new ‘Entertainment Unlimited’ brand.
It is understood that the manufacturer will reduce its dependency on Walkman and Cyber-shot as it increases its focus on the higher end of the market.
The Sony brands will still be used on some mid-range phones but the new ?flagship high-end model, the Idou, will be launched under the Entertainment Unlimited brand.
The Idou (pictured), which was unveiled at Mobile World Congress on 16 February, is the first in a series of entertainment-focused handsets. It has a 12.1-megapixel camera and allows users to download new applications from the company’s music download system, PlayNow. It was released alongside the Walkman-branded W995.
Sony Ericsson’s UK managing director, Nathan Vautier, told Mobile: ‘We’ve taken the Walkman brand as far as we can with the W995. Both Walkman and Cyber-shot will still play a role, but we can’t restrict ourselves with what we can do.’
Speculation has mounted over relations between Sony and Ericsson’s joint venture. In December 2008, Mobile reported that Sony refused to allow Sony Ericsson to use the PlayStation brand after a presentation to the board.
Sony Ericsson had been planning to develop a PSP phone to capitalise on the success of the gaming sector, and sources said Sony’s refusal to sanction the brand on handsets prompted a fallout between Sony and the joint venture.
The manufacturer is currently cutting costs as the economic slowdown bites. In January, it posted worse than expected results when it reported a £6.9m loss in 2008. It also laid out plans to save an extra £180m, in addition to the £300m it announced last year. During the same month, Ericsson blamed its joint mobile handset venture for a 31% drop in fourth quarter profits.