Sony Ericsson CEO: We should’ve taken Apple iPhone more seriously; Windows Phone not as good as Android

Sony Ericsson “has struggled to build major market share around the world, and, like rivals such as Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and Nokia Corp., has recently struggled to compete with Apple Inc. in the fast-growing smartphone market,” Sven Grundberg reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Sony Ericsson underwent a management shake-up two years ago, appointing Bert Nordberg, who previously headed Ericsson’s operations in Silicon Valley, as the company’s chief executive, replacing Sony’s Hediki ‘Dick’ Komiyama,” Grundberg reports. “Mr. Nordberg made some radical decisions: He dropped the Symbian operating system, introduced a smartphone strategy using Google Inc.’s Android platform, and gave up Sony Ericsson’s presence in the low-end market.”

Grundberg reports, “Since Mr. Nordberg took over, Sony Ericsson’s global market share has dropped steeply, from 4.3% in the third quarter of 2009 to 1.7% in the second quarter this year, according to Gartner Inc… In an interview at Sony Ericsson’s offices in Lund, Sweden, Mr. Nordberg discussed changes at the company and the consumer environment.”

Two of Nordberg’s comments stand out:

• It’s safe to say that Sony Ericsson should have taken the iPhone more seriously when it arrived in 2007.
• At this point I wouldn’t feel comfortable investing in a platform that isn’t as good as the one that we currently use. Therefore we have remained with Android, but I am quite curious about Windows Phone.

Read much more in the full interview here.

[Attribution: MacNN. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]


  1. Apparently some companies need Maxwell’s Silver Hammer to come crashing down upon their heads to see the obvious. This is why Apple is where they are and why companies like Sony, who haven’t an original thought in their heads, struggle for market share scraps.

    1. You obviously know little about Sony. They’re one of the MORE innovative firms out there. Just because they weren’t able to enter the mobile business in a large way does not doom the whole company to the basement-level quality that some of the copy-cat manufacturers have stooped to.

      1. Years ago, I would have agreed with you. But Sony’s failure to see the here-and-now (to say nothing of where the puck is going) made it irrelevant in mobile music players (where, given its history, it should have been dominant), consigned it to scraps in the smartphone business, and have even made its photo/videocam business second-tier because of its blind attachment to MemoryStick rather than adoption of SD cards. I am not seeing much innovation in the last ten years or more. That is a shame, because I used to love their products.

      2. Obviously you know little about Sony lately. I’ve read books on the company and admired Akio Morita but leadership from him forward has been a slow downward trend in company innovation. The company in more ways than one is headed down the path to irrelevance for those that notice these things. They fail to differentiate themselves as much as they used to, as Apple does now. Lots of irony there since Sony was Apple’s model.

  2. Even more than RIM Sony Ericsson is dead company walking, a victim of the smartphone revolution. They bring nothing new to the table. Symbian is dead technology that even Nokia has abandoned.

    By adopting Android as the operating system, SE is joining the ranks of faceless corporations that are parading a generic OS that’s available for free and has nothing to distinguish it from Samsung or HTC except for hardware specifications which are unusually poor.

    I had the misfortune of using a friend’s SE phone for a couple of weeks while overseas and the experience has put me off SE phones forever. They’ll be among the first to go under along with RIM.

  3. Sony is the one company I think can distinguish
    It’s phones from the rest of the android pack. Build a cybershot phone that is a camera first and a smart phone second. Put a decent optical zoom in it and an image stabilizer and you will get something that is not better or worse than iPhone it is different. Do the same with blogie, psp, Walkman. They might have a chance.

  4. “Since Mr. Nordberg took over, Sony Ericsson’s global market share has dropped steeply, from 4.3% in the third quarter of 2009 to 1.7% in the second quarter this year, according to Gartner Inc

    This assumes market share is the most important measure of success or failure. Which it isn’t. Considering the story itself mentions that they “gave up Sony Ericsson’s presence in the low-end market”, a blind speelsnape could’ve guessed their market share would drop. Duh!

    How about reporting their profit share instead? May not matter much in this case, but at least that would be relevant to their shift in strategy. Are they benefiting financially from the shift to all smartphones, yes or no? That’s what matters.

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