Sony Ericsson bought

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Sony acquires smartphone manufacturer

Sony has reached a deal to buy Ericsson's share of Sony Ericsson as part of its four-pronged consumer electronics strategy.

The technology giants have jointly run the smartphone manufacturer since its launch in October 2001. However, all that is set to change after Sony agreed to pay €1.05 billion (£0.92 billion) for Ericsson's 50 per cent stake in the company. The deal - which means Sony Ericsson will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony - will also see Sony take ownership of what it describes as "five essential patent families relating to wireless handset technology".

Sony Ericsson's share of the smartphone market

Smartphones are Sony Ericsson's core products, accounting for 80 per cent of the company's total sales. In recent years, the company has concentrated on producing Android handsets and enjoys an 11 per cent share of the rapidly growing Android phone market.

This acquisition means that Sony has now finished putting its "four-screen strategy" in place, according to Sir Howard Stringer, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Sony. He explained: "We can more rapidly and more widely offer consumers smartphones, laptops, tablets and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another and open up new worlds of online entertainment."

Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, believes that the deal could turn out to be a good piece of business for Sony. "Technology manufacturers are having to change fast as consumers demand more and more features from their electronic devices," he said. "The days of phones, computers and televisions belonging to clearly defined categories are over, so companies such as Sony need to take bold steps to get their ideas to market on a range of devices."