We have been saying that such a deal makes sense. Sony Ericsson has not been doing very well lately and needed to ratchet up its consumer products if it wants to catch up in the mobile market, particularly with Nokia expected to make gains next year.
According to Reuters, the $1.45 billion deal will give Sony ownership of certain handset patents held by Ericsson and mean that it can merge the joint venture’s output with its own range of products and online content.
It will end any duplication of products between Sony and Sony Ericsson. Sony’s tablets, games and other consumer electronics devices have been kept separate from the phones sold by Sony Ericsson.
Sony’s chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer said that the move will mean his outfit can rapidly offer consumer smartphones, laptops, tablets and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another. Because seams are the enemy of any smartphone maker.
A high-end Playstation phone could make sense for the company.
The deal has been talked about for a year but it looked fairly certain to happen for a month.
This is mostly because integrating everything might be tricker than it expects. However, Sony was facing bigger problems due to its lack of mobile assets.
As far as Ericsson is concerned, the deal provides Sony with a broad intellectual property cross-licensing agreement covering all the Japanese company’s products and services as well as ownership of “five essential patent families relating to wireless handset technology.”
This will be useful when the patent trolls from Apple and Microsoft start to call and try and get products taken off the shelves.