Sony Ericsson CEO: We Should Have Taken The iPhone More Seriously

Sony Ericsson, a joint venture between Japanese consumer electronics maker Sony and Swedish telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson, has been on the mobile phone scene for about a decade. The company has mostly concentrated on delivering high-end phones to the European and Asian markets. But it’s never had a strong presence in the U.S., which has helped keep its overall market share in the bottom half of major handset providers.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Sony Ericsson President and CEO Bert Nordberg made a number of interesting statements about the iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Motorola.
Defending the decision to pick Android as the choice operating system for its mobile handsets, Nordberg posits that it was ‘the best choice they could have made’ considering its rapid growth, but also acknowledges that the company “should have taken the iPhone more seriously when it arrived in 2007″.
But Sony Ericsson has bigger ambitions. CNET sat down with Nordberg on Sunday on the eve of the GSM Association’s Mobile World Congress to hear how the company plans to become the No. 1 Android device maker. Nordberg talked about Sony Ericsson’s highly anticipated Xperia Play, dubbed the Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone.
The phone, which is based on Google’s latest Android software and was introduced tonight at Sony Ericsson’s press conference, will become its flagship smartphone in the U.S. market. To generate buzz ahead of the launch, Sony Ericsson ran an advertisement during the broadcast of the Super Bowl. And according to Nordberg, it worked.
Sony Ericsson, a joint venture between Japanese consumer electronics maker Sony and Swedish telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson, has been on the mobile phone scene for about a decade. The company has mostly concentrated on delivering high-end phones to the European and Asian markets. But it’s never had a strong presence in the U.S., which has helped keep its overall market share in the bottom half of major handset providers.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Sony Ericsson President and CEO Bert Nordberg made a number of interesting statements about the iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Motorola.
Defending the decision to pick Android as the choice operating system for its mobile handsets, Nordberg posits that it was ‘the best choice they could have made’ considering its rapid growth, but also acknowledges that the company “should have taken the iPhone more seriously when it arrived in 2007″.

But Sony Ericsson has bigger ambitions. CNET sat down with Nordberg on Sunday on the eve of the GSM Association’s Mobile World Congress to hear how the company plans to become the No. 1 Android device maker. Nordberg talked about Sony Ericsson’s highly anticipated Xperia Play, dubbed the Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone.
The phone, which is based on Google’s latest Android software and was introduced tonight at Sony Ericsson’s press conference, will become its flagship smartphone in the U.S. market. To generate buzz ahead of the launch, Sony Ericsson ran an advertisement during the broadcast of the Super Bowl. And according to Nordberg, it worked.Nordberg says the goal is for Sony Ericsson to gradually shed its feature phone business and become a 100% smartphone company – much unlike Nokia, I should note.

Nordberg wouldn’t say how much the company spent on that ad. But he said the CEO of a major U.S. carrier called him directly to ask when his network could get the new phone.
Nordberg says the goal is for Sony Ericsson to gradually shed its feature phone business and become a 100% smartphone company – much unlike Nokia, I should note. He estimates that to happen in the middle of next year (70% of its sales already stem from smartphones today).
Asked why Sony Ericsson hasn’t become the world’s largest maker of Android devices yet, Nordberg tells the WSJ that they’ve underestimated the speed with which it could penetrate the United States, where he acknowledges the company to be a “very tiny player”.

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