Announcement that Sony Ericsson hasn't "closed the door" on Microsoft's Xbox 360-supporting phone OS is a slap in the face to Sony Corp.
When it comes to console gaming, Microsoft and Sony are mortal enemies. Sony's PlayStation 3 competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360, which dominates the market. The Xbox has been the top console for 15 of the last 16 months--and for the last seven months straight.
In this context, news that Sony Ericsson, the joint venture between Sony Corp. and Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson, is now considering the Windows Phone platform is unlikely to please Sony. Sony doesn't have a phone platform, so that's not the issue; rather it's Windows Phone's Xbox Live integrated Xbox 360 support.
Sony is making a move to buy out Ericsson's holdings in the joint venture, thus taking total control. Sony Ericsson is currently the world's sixth-largest cellphone maker, but its sales have faltered. In the United States, sales are down 28% in the last year.
In the first quarter of 2012, Sony Ericsson will leave feature phones behind and move the entire portfolio to smartphones. It currently makes the Xperia line which runs Android. Android isn't going anywhere for now, but Windows Phone could be a new stablemate. CEO Bert Nordberg said, "for the moment, we see Android as a better choice for us. We have not closed the door [on Windows Phones]."
The new features in Windows Phone's Mango update may be incentive to consider the platform. But another factor could be Microsoft's significant marketing push for Mango. Microsoft is going to be giving almost $44 million to Samsung and Nokia for a fourth quarter push in the United Kingdom. Nokia will get most of that, over $31 million.
If Sony does take full control over the company, you can be sure that any consideration of Windows Phone will be put to rest. It will be interesting to see if Sony comes up with some sort of PlayStation integration in its Android phones.
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