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Sony-Ericsson

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on global corporations.

Sony-Ericsson
Type Private joint venture between japanese Sony Corporation and swedish Ericsson
Genre Telecommunication services and multi-media mobile phone production
Founded Founded as Sony-Ericsson in October, 2001
Number of locations London, UK, Stockholm, Sweden
Products Mobile phones, Mobile music devices, wireless voice and data products and services
Revenue €12,916 million (2007)
Net income €1,114 million (2007)
Employees 9,400 (As of July 2008)
Parent Sony Corporation (50%) Ericsson (50%)
Website http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/home?cc=us&lc=en

Sony-Ericsson is a joint corporate venture established in the year 2001 by the japanese consumer electronics giant SONY Corporation and the swedish mobile communications company Ericsson. Its goal is to be a leading provider in multimedia mobile phone technology and wireless communications. According to the company itself "the 50/50 joint venture combines the mobile communications expertise of Ericsson with the consumer electronics and content expertise of SONY Corporation"[1]

"Sony Ericsson undertakes product research, design and development, manufacturing, marketing, sales, distribution and customer services. Global management is based in London, and research and development is in Sweden, UK, France, Netherlands, India, Japan, China and the US. The management team is led by President Hideki Komiyama, a former senior executive of Sony Europe and one of the key players in the growth of Sony in Europe; and Executive Vice-President and Head of Sales Anders Runevad, the former President of Ericsson Brazil."[2]

Sony Ericsson has, as of July 18, 2008, approximately 9,400 employees and 2,500 contractors worldwide.


Company History

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications was established in 2001 by telecommunications leader Ericsson and consumer electronics powerhouse Sony Corporation. The company is owned equally by Ericsson and Sony and announced its first joint products in March 2002.


Historical Financial Information

For historial financial information spanning the past 3 years, please view:[1]

Business Strategy

Sony Ericsson's business strategy currently concentrates on the categories of: music, camera, business (web and email), design, and all-around capable phones. Four of its most predominant product lines are:

  • The Walkman W series music phones, launched in 2005.

The Sony Ericsson W-series music phones are music-centric mobiles that focus on the storage and playback of varied amounts of music, exploiting the economic bonanza pioneered by the iPod format.

  • The Cyber-shot line of phones, launched in 2006.

This paricular line of products is made of of camera-centric phones, that concentrate on image quality and storage capabilities for photographic content. Cyber-shot phones always include a flash, some with a xenon flash, and also include auto-focus cameras.

  • The BRAVIA-branded line of phones, launched in 2007 for the japanese market only.
  • The UIQ smartphone range of mobiles, introduced with the P series in 2003 with the introduction of P800.

Notable for their touchscreen

  • The Xperia range of mobile phones, heralded by the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 on February 2008

Notable for integrating Windows Mobile technology.

Political and Public Influence

Political Contributions

Lobbying

Corporate Accountability

Labor

Wake up call: Mobiles make Congo suffer

30.05.08 Copenhagen. Mobile phone batteries from at least four leading mobile phone producers contain cobalt from The Democratic Republic of Congo. These companies run the risk of supporting illegal export and unfair mining practices, which often involve severe human rights abuses.

"In 2001 a UN panel of experts first documented that the extraction of another metal coltan (tantalum), used in capacitors for mobile phones, was related to critical conditions in the mining industry in DR Congo. Until very recently, however, mobile phone producers such as Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG Electronics and Sony Ericsson have made little, if any, effort to track the origins of the metals used in their phones, even though for many years they have been aware of the risks involved. Presently there are no guaranties that the various metals used in mobile phones are extracted in a sustainable and responsible way." [2]


Workers silenced while we talk

New report reveals severe violations of workers’ rights in Asian mobile phone factories

24-09-2008

"The mobile phone industry is often presented as a clean, unproblematic industry, but makeITfair’s new report ‘Silenced to Deliver’ shows that this is not the case. Young electronics workers handle chemicals without protective gear. They work inhumane overtime hours to cover basic needs and are punished if they make mistakes. In the export processing zones in Asia where the factories are located, protests are often brutally suppressed." [3]

Human Rights

"Toll-free mobile service to give rural Africa access to medics"

May, 2008

Sony-Ericsson, alongside mobile phone service provider Zain, is involved in the development of a toll-free mobile service launched in selected remote areas of Africa, allowing people with emergency medical cases to contact health personnel.

This new approach is taken in a bid to stimulate the demand of mobile solutions in mobile phone areas considered to be commercially challenging.[4]

Environment

Company scores plummet in Greener Electronics Guide

25 June 2008'

According to Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics, Sony-Ericsson is one of the few consumer electronics provider to achieve a high score in Greenpeace's latest world-ranking.

"With expanded and tougher criteria on toxic chemicals, electronic waste and new criteria on climate change only Sony and Sony Ericsson score more than 5/10 in our latest Guide to Greener Electronics. Nintendo and Microsoft remain rooted to the bottom of the Guide."

The Greener Electronics Guide is a statetigcal way of getting the electronics industry to face up to the problem of e-waste. The main objective is to get rid of harmful chemicals products used in the making of consumer electronics.[5]

Consumer Protection and Product Safety

Anti-Trust and Tax Practices

Social Responsibility Initiatives

Business Scope

Financial Information (as of DATE)

Data (in Euros, unless indicated otherwise) Quarter 3 2007 Quarter 1 2008 Quarter 2 2008
Number of units shipped (million) 25.9 24.4 25.7
Sales (Euro m.) 3,108 2,820 2,808
Gross margin (%) 31% 23% 22%
Operating income (Euro m.) 393 -2 -33
Operating margin (%) 13% -0% -1%
Restructuring charges (Euro m.) 0 11 35
Operating income excl. restructuring charges (Euro m.) 393 8 2
Operating margin excl. restructuring charges (%) 13% 0% 0%
Net income (Euro m.) 267 6 -25

Governance

As a 50/50 corporate venture, Sony-Ericsson is run equally by two Senior Executives, one representative of Sony Corporation and the other of swedish-based Ericsson:

Hideki Komiyama


Anders Runevad


Full biography of both:[6]

Contact Information

Group Registered Address

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB

Nya Vattentornet

SE-221 88 Lund

Sweden


Group Headquarters

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Management Ltd.

Sony Ericsson House

202 Hammersmith Road

W6 7DN London

UK


Asia Pacific Region

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications International AB

Singapore Branch

510 Thomson Road #05-00

SLF Building

298135 Singapore

Singapore


China & Hong Kong Region

China Digital Kingdom Building

No.1 Wangjing North Road

Chaoyang District

Beijing 100102

China


Europe, Middle East and Africa Region

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications International AB

German Branch

Wappenhalle

Konrad-Zuse-Platz 2-5

81829 Munich

Germany


Latin America Region

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications International AB

US Branch

601 Brickell Key Drive, Suite 300

Miami, Florida 33131

USA


North America Region

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (USA) Inc.

7001 Development Drive

Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, 27709

USA

Articles and Resources

Books on the Company

Related SourceWatch Articles

Sources

  1. "Historical Financial Information"
  2. "Sony-Ericsson running the risk of supporting illegal exports and unfair mining practices
  3. "Report on severe violation of workers' rights in Asian mobile phone factories"
  4. "Toll-free mobile service to give rural Africa access to medics"
  5. "Sony-Ericsson does well in Greenpeace's Greener Electronics Guide"
  6. "Senior Executive's biographies"

External Resources

Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations: http://somo.nl/

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: http://www.business-humanrights.org/Home

makeITfair:European project focusing on the electronics industry, especially on consumer electronics like mobile phones, laptops and MP3 players: http://makeitfair.org/

External Articles