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Sony completes takeover of Sony Ericsson, renames it Sony Mobile

February 16, 2012|By Nathan Olivarez-Giles
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone. (Sony Ericsson / Sony Corp. )

Sony's takeover of Sony Ericsson is now complete and the smartphone maker has a new name -- Sony Mobile Communications.

But make no mistake, you'll be seeing simply "Sony" on smartphones from the company going forward.

Sony Corp. in Japan announced the finalization of the takeover of the company, which started as joint venture between tech giants Sony and Ericsson in 2001, on Wednesday, thus bringing to a close a deal announced in October.

Sony purchased Ericsson's half of the joint venture for about $1.5 billion. Sony and Ericsson will also cross-license five essential patent families relating to wireless handset technology as a part of its takeover deal.

Sony Mobile Communications is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony, which said in a statement that plans are to "further integrate the mobile phone business as a vital element of its electronics business, with the aim of accelerating convergence between Sony’s lineup of network enabled consumer electronics products, including smart phones, tablets, TVs and PCs."

Soon we'll see Sony smartphones that interact with Sony TVs, Blu-ray players, laptops and (fingers crossed) PlayStation video game consoles.

The newly named Sony Mobile will be headquartered in London, as Sony Ericsson was before it, and Bert Nordberg is staying on as president and CEO. Nordberg has been president of Sony Ericsson since 2004 and chief executive since 2009.

In a bit of good news for Nordberg, on Thursday Vestas Wind Systems in Denmark said it would like the Sony Mobile executive to take over as its company chairman when its current chair steps down later this year.

As a part of Sony's takeover of what is now Sony Mobile, Nordberg will be charged with changing the company from a company that focused on feature phones (regular cellphones that can do things such as store and play music, shoot photos and video but not run full-out mobile apps) to a firm that focuses on smartphones.

Currently all of Sony's smartphones run on Google's Android operating system.

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