Mats Lindoff, Sony Ericsson’s Chief Technology Officer, has perhaps been taking lessons from Steve Ballmer as he has been dropping sound bites galore this past week. Let’s start with the over-diversification…
As any self-respecting Sony Ericsson fan will know Sony Ericsson have been announcing and cancelling handsets like it’s going out fashion over the past year. Some have been wee gems like the G900 or the C902, others have been… well less than stellar. There have been a lot of handsets and to be blunt some of them have been either unnecessary given the existence of other handsets in SE’s portfolio or just haven’t added much to the market that previous handset’s didn’t already offer. It seems that Sony Ericsson is finally confirming what the rest of us already knew, namely that they over-diversified.
The admission started last week when Sony Ericsson President Hideki Komiyama said that he is aware that Sony Ericsson has problems and that they are working on innovative products. Now we have Mr Lindoff, speaking at the launch of PlayNow Plus, saying that Sony Ericsson over-diversified in Q3:
“There were probably too many devices in the portfolio in Q3. We developed products that have not been ranged by operators. It makes no sense to develop it if we are not damn sure it’s ranged.”
It’s good to see Sony Ericsson recognising this issue because hopefully it signals the start of a turn around for the company that sees them release great handsets again like they did in their early days with the likes of the T68i, the T610, the P800, and the K750.
Mr Lindoff had more to say though as he also talked about Sony Ericsson’s smart phone plans. He made the claim that the X1 is primarily aimed at the U.S. market, which seems a little strange given that it will be released there after being released in European markets:
“Operators have demanded a Windows Mobile device for the past five years so it’s driven by them for enterprise customers. Yes, you could say it is primarily for the US market.”
The claim isn’t so strange when taken in this context given that Windows Mobile has arguably a stronger presence, or at least a stronger image, in the American market than it does in European markets where Symbian rules the roost.
Mr Lindoff wasn’t one for stopping and he continued his comments by talking about smart phone platforms. Android, Google’s open source mobile platform, is something that Sony Ericsson are apparently interested in at least, but Lindoff was cautious in commiting to it. He commented that Sony Ericsson might develop an Android handset, presumably as part of the Xperia line given previous comments by Sony Ericsson to the effect that Xperia isn’t tied to WinMo. However, he cited a lack of resources as preventing Sony Ericsson from realising this any time soon.
Symbian Foundation appears to be more important to Sony Ericsson though as Sony Ericsson already have Symbian Foundation handsets in development, with the first coming next year as part of the Xperia line. The good news for mobile geeks is that it is promised to be very high-end! Lindoff is quoted as saying:
“We will launch a Symbian Foundation handset in the next year. There will be really high-end Xperia devices.”
Sony Ericsson should allow Mats Lindoff to speak more often!