B2C Batteries Blog
16th Apr 2012
Sony Begins Entertainment Push After Ericsson Buyout
Sony Begins Entertainment Push After Ericsson Buyout
BY KATE KNIBBS.
Sony revamped its mobile strategy to integrate gaming and entertainment features, in the wake of the completed Ericsson buyout of their joint venture.
The Japanese giant plans to merge its newly acquired mobile division into its electronics division, bolstering its product line-up and helping the company better compete in the smartphone market. The deal also fuels Sony's migration from low-end phones and puts a renewed emphasis on cutting-edge smartphones like its Xperia handsets.
The buyout figures into Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai's larger strategy to focus on producing high-end devices with unique capabilities that capitalize on Sony's strengths.
Hirai intends to "fully leverage Sony's diverse electronics product portfolio, in conjunction with our rich entertainment assets and growing array of networked services, to engage with our customers around the world in new and exciting ways," a goal the Ericsson deal will help reach by consolidating mobile operations and giving Sony full control over them.
The acquisition arrives at a critical time for Sony, as the company has weathered disappointing sales and a leadership overhaul. The Japanese company is struggling to stay afloat in a competitive market, and the deal confers vital advantages, like cross-licensing and integration opportunities.
Sony is already pursuing aspects of its strategy. This week, Sony granted PlayStation Certification to HTC, allowing the company's devices access to the cross-platform PlayStation Suite. Expanding this gaming suite, which was previously exclusive to Sony's smartphones, to some of the world's largest Android manufacturers is another way the company is getting its software into the hands of more customers and expanding its targeted gaming audience.
At the same time, Sony's decision to license its PlayStation Suite will likely bring the company revenue, which it can use to finance its higher-end smartphones. The company is fine-tuning these higher-end devices, and the licenses are expected to cultivate a market which Sony can capture with its own devices.
The Ericsson deal builds on this strategy since Sony can now employ its cloud technology and bring its gaming and entertainment holdings onto its handsets without working out deals with Ericsson.
Sony paid $1.29 billion for control of the company, which includes comprehensive cross-licensing agreements, and intends to rename the mobile company Sony Mobile Communications. The Ericsson deal was a necessary expense for Sony, as Hirai's plan hinges on substantial strategy shifts, and some of these changes may only be possible with the buyout.
Mobile Technology Enhances Sports Illustrated
By Shannon Willoby.
Sports Illustrated swimsuit viewerThe 2012 swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated hits newsstands this week, but fans will be happy to know it's been given an upgrade thanks to mobile technology.
Readers can now point their smartphone's camera at one (or all 19) of the models featured in the swimsuit issue to view behind-the-scenes videos of the photo shoots. For it to work, readers must have an Apple or Android smartphone, download the Swimsuit Viewer mobile app, and point their camera at the models' photos.
How do they do it, you ask? Each model's photo has been embedded with invisible digital watermarks to ensure they do not detract from the photos.
Bryan Laurienti, leader of BBB Systems' graphic design team, said he thinks the digital watermarks are a great way to make the Sports Illustrated magazine an interactive experience. Plus, it gives the magazine a modern update that may draw in new readers thanks to the bonus videos.
Tell us your thoughts: Do you think mobile technology - like digital watermarks - will work well in a magazine like Sports Illustrated?
Android widens lead over Apple
By Chris Keall.
Mobile phones running Google Android software extended their market share lead over Apple's iPhone during the fourth quarter of 2011, market research outfit Gartner says.
Apple had a boom quarter on the back of the new iPhone 4S, selling more than 35 million handsets, double that of the year-ago quarter.
Yet Android-based smartphones (made by Samsung, Motorola, Sony, HTC, Huawei, LG and others) also more than doubled sales to maintain their collective majority market share.
The Android camp's fragmentation did mean that Apple registered the highest sales of any single smartphone maker.
And, like a recent IDC survey, Gartner found Apple is now number three in the cellphone market as a whole.
Apple and Android's success was at the expense of BlackBerry maker RIM and Nokia, whose smartphone share halved over the period (although it is in the process of mounting a fightback with its new Microsoft Windows-based handsets that will be released in New Zealand next month).
Microsoft New Zealand country manager Paul Muckleston told NBR that so far Windows Phone smartphones have been a hit with a niche audience. Nokia was still the largest mobile phone maker overall (see second table). The Nokia-Microsoft partnership would help Microsoft's mobile software pushing into the mainstream, and revive Nokia's smartphone fortunes.
With the three-way fight between Apple, Android and Nokia/Microsoft helping to grow the smartphone market overall, the phone companies win either way.
Global smartphone sales to end users reached 115 million units in the third quarter of 2011, up 42% from the third quarter of 2010, Gartner said.
Nokia's Windows Phone-based Lumia series has sold more than 1 million since its November launch in Europe, Nokia Australia-New Zealand MD Chris Carr told NBR - still modest compared to the numbers clocked by Apple and Android, but not bad from a cold start.
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