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back to article Sony Ericsson: 'We dropped the ball on iPhone'

Sony Ericsson's CEO has admitted the company should have cottoned on earlier to the iPhone's success, though as he wasn't in the chair at the time it's not his fault. Talking to the Wall Street Journal, current CEO Bert Nordberg admits the company should have taken the iPhone more seriously back in 2007, although the same could …

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Anonymous Coward

interesting

So SE are steering clear of WinPho7 for now!

Wonder how much they are paying in royalties to MS.

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Success?

If Sony want to regain some lost market share they're going to have to do alot more than they currently are.

Sony's phones are probably the best looking on the market, but thats about it.

There's very little innovation going on and they just seem to be copying the hardware used in last years handsets.

With other manufacturers pushing out a mirriad of handsets featuring dual-core processors, enormous screens, 3D screen and camera, you look at Sony's efforts and feel a little underwhelmed.

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3D cameras? 3D screens? those aren't features - those are gimmicks.

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Trollface

RE:Gimmicks

They are gimmicks. However, when Apple features them in two year's time on the 'all new' iPhone4xyz. They'll be 'magical' and 'revolutionary'.

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Silver badge

If they do

they certainly won't be half arsed.

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Again?

Isn't it about time Sony just gave up? They're so dreadful at anticipating trends and even worse at reacting to them, it's embarrassing.

It's not as if they don't have a track record of completely screwing things up... They said the exact same thing about the Nintendo Gameboy and the Apple iPod. Are they ever going to learn?

They got lucky with the Walkman (most of their revenue through the eighties and nineties in one form or another) and the PlayStation (most of their revenue from the nineties onwards) and seem content to rest on their laurels or launch horrifically crippled versions of existing tech (ATRAC Walkman anyone?)

Don't even get me started on their unrelenting attempts to strike out on their own - apart from the majority of rest of the industry - with said proprietary versions of existing technology and standards. Sony Memory Sticks, ATRAC, Betamax, Blu-ray, etc.

Of all of them Blu-ray's the only one that's been even vaguely successful and even that looks like it's got a limited shelf life, seeing as physical media is going the way of the dinosaur.

Do I expect Sony to be working on something revolutionary and online to replace Blu-ray? Do I buggery. It'll be a capacity bump we'll see next... Do I expect Sony to do anything revolutionary ever again?

Er, no...

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Facepalm

3 decades of pretty damn good revenues seems awfully consistent.

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Ru
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Meh

Sony != Sony Ericsson

Well done for not conflating the perpetrators of the rootkit fiasco with Sony as a whole, though.

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Revenue?

Let's be honest, a company the size of Sony, with their technological ability, should be as big as - if not bigger than - Apple.

The reason this isnt the case is that they demand on ploughing their own furrow. Regardless of the direction the wind is blowing...

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Anonymous Coward

"We have underestimated how fast we would be able to penetrate the US market."

Underestimated or overestimated?

Anyway, SE executives past and present should still be embarrassed by their lack of response to the iPhone. SE in particular had quite a range of fairly nice phones, aspects of which were taken up by Apple, but SE and pals were never in any hurry to actually provide decent Web browsing or convenient Internet connectivity.

Instead, vendors pandered to the GSM fetishists, didn't offer Wi-Fi alongside GSM when it was obvious that this would be highly beneficial (the Nxxx series from Nokia illustrating this pretty well by only offering Wi-Fi), and made the process of getting online dependent on carriers, whether one's handset was new enough to figure the stuff out itself if one didn't want to dive into deep menus (the other continuing failure of the likes of SE), and whether the carriers were able to support the continuous shower of new models (reminiscent of the early 1990s Apple product line).

Then, of course, SE dithered for some time and stupidly bet the farm on Windows Mobile, but that's another story.

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FAIL

The problems started earlier than that...

like how about Ericsson shooting themselves in the foot by partnering with Sony in the first place?

I put Sony on my list of companies that I will never buy from when they decided that installing root-kit hidden spyware on people's computers was OK. Despite all the interesting things they have come out with since, I still see no reason to take them off that list.

Companies that like to bully their customers don't deserve customers!

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Pint

Well at least you didn't publicly scoff like that dopey git Ballmer, at Sony you had the good grace to keep quiet!

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Silver badge
FAIL

All went wrong with the P990i

The SE P910i is still my all-time favourite smartphone. The P990i that replaced it was an utter pile-o-shite. Smaller screen, incomprehensible UI, an OS that was barely beta tested and a total lack of support. All because the marketing declared the feature phone was the future and the smartphone was dead. Then Apple came along and cornered the market.

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Yes yes yes

Although mine was a P900 I agree wholeheartedly. Brilliant phone - large screen, and you could do everything one-handed... in fact, one-thumbed with the genius 5-way thumb wheel.

I couldn't believe they dropped that with the P990 and never looked at SE again....

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W960i

I had high hopes for SE's "iPhone Killer", the W960i.

Dear sweet jaysus, what a terrible phone. UIQ was terrible, Symbian was terrible, there were no apps, the version of Opera shipped with the phone was years behind Opera's stable.

To input text you needed to use 3 different input types, T9, stylus plus scroll wheel.

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FAIL

How about making phones that work?

After purchasing a SE based on a 'top ten review' on the register I am once again disgusted by the whole experience. The Phone OS regularly crashes forcing a manual reset that wipes all the text messages. Never going to buy them again. SE = POS

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Anonymous Coward

K800i

The K800i was a good phone for the money.

Their current range of TVs are pants. They have lost their way a bit, but there is a lot of talent still in the company. The cost cutting Welshman is about to leave so there is some hope...

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Anonymous Coward

"Their current range of TVs are [sic] pants"

Shurely shome mishtake... Sony Ericsson make mobile phones, not TVs.

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Anonymous Coward

Subsidary?

Still subject to the influence of the cost cutting Welshman ?

You are right, they sell phones - I was just illustrating the problems are throughout the Sony group of companies...

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Paris Hilton

SE abandoning the US market, you mean

SE Java Platform operating system is very good, IMHO. I've seen it on a number of "feature phones" including every CyberShot phone I have owned. With the exception of the sluggish K850i, I have been very pleased, especially with my C905a. One nicety I find about the JP OS is that, as a "feature phone" or non-Smart Phone operating system, I do not have to buy special Smart Phone plans for data.

Where SE has failed for me is continuing to use an out-sourced repair facility which tends to return phones without actually having been repaired or physically assembled improperly. Even if you pay the out-of-warranty repair fee. Sadly, I find that the manufacturing quality of the phones has dwindled as well. Every CyberShot model I have owned has some well-known defect.

I also see a grand lacking of distribution and marketing in the US. AT&T was to carry the K850i but dropped it within the week before its release, speculated to be due to SE having delayed the phone again. The C905a was released in limited distribution only to AT&T (ugly silver model with disabled WiFi) in the US and Rogers (pretty black) in Canada, both of course locked to the respective carriers with their horrid customizations. Meanwhile, in Europe the C905 saw two hardware releases.

SE tends to be gung-ho about a model for the first year after release with frequent firmware updates fixing existing bugs and adding features (the later which tends to add new bugs.) Then suddenly the updates stop and whatever litany of bugs remain just stay that way because SE's moved on to the next shiny model. While I realize a year may be forever in terms of technology, I am part of a group of people who go with the "ain't broke don't fix (or replace)" way of doing things, which helps maintain a regular and reliable routine.

(And the timing of my K850i restarting itself several times throughout the regular work day was reliable enough to almost include as part of that routine. ::insert laugh here::)

Of course, no marketing. Going back to my first SE phone, the T60d, and even better phones like the S-series had no marketing.

Paris, a litany of bugs.

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I used to have a string of SE phones, culminating with the C750. It had a beautiful camera and a reasonable battery life, which only now are the current generation of Android phones matching. Why did SE drop the Cybershot line of phones? I don't see how that had anything to do with iPhones.

I've still got it as a spare, since it can handily tether data via Bluetooth to my laptop.

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IT Angle

Bert Nordberg hasn't written a singe fucking line of code

he's just a luser by definition then, so I'd not cite his blah blah on IT site like theregister

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