It promised to bring together the best of Swedish design and Japanese consumer electronics marketing, and at times, it did. But after 10 years and one month, Sony has pulled the plug on its mobile phone venture with Ericsson. The venture was born out of necessity, with two great storied giants forming a sort of losers' alliance …
I had the bluetooth watch!
It was BRILLIANT because it showed who was phoning you which meant I could cheerfully screen out the (then) Mrs dogged (now thankfully long gone) and lead a relatively happy life when out of the house.
God bless your wife-avoidance technologies, Sony-Ericsson.
Also worth a mention...
The Ericsson variant of the Psion Series 3, the MC218
I was still using a T68 up until last year. The reason I didn't get another one is I couldn't find one anywhere. It's just so easy to use. I can't deal with the nokia GUI, it's so clunky and awful to use. Farewell indeed. In their day they pushed boundaries but no point being in the race anymore, they stopped innovating ages ago trying to copy others and even failing at that.
I just retired my p800 this year ... battery life was still good (nearly a week) although it had lots of war wounds after years of rough use. Admittedly no GPS and a pretty crappy camera but as a phone it was great.
The P910 was just brilliant. I used it for a long time with tom tom on it and a gps receiver I got really cheap from ebay. Perfect size for the pocket. Very themable and I had a nifty app to send messages to anyone silly enough to leave bluetooth on all the time with no security.
Msn ran perfect with a 3rd party program as well and a fantastic Zx Spectrum emulator.
I eventually sold it to get a Palm T3 hooked up to a WM6 handset before moving on to Android.
I was lucky that I worked for a phone company who provided my P910 for free.
Wish I'd kept it.
the p910i is one of the best smartphones ever. i used mine for about 6 years until it finally broke (my fault).
killer app was tomtom and the active car cradle. :)
My phone is a K810i. I've never upgraded because it does everything I need a phone to do - it's small, light, and it has a decent camera with a xenon flash, not the pathetic LED "flash" that you get these days. Plus the battery still lasts for days at a time even though it's over 5 years old.
Two out of the three phones in the photos were ones I actually bought. I loved my Z5, and I had the full car kit for it in my company Golf. Sold it when I got my P800, which was a bit big, and didnt survive an encounter with a stone floor; large screen crack and not economic to repair. Still have it though; keep thinking I should recycle it.
Went to a Moto after that (Z3), then a Nokia N95, before settling on an iPhone 3GS, which has lasted longer than any of them, although the case is starting to crack on the back.
Add another long-time user of SE to the list... and a former employee of Matsushita
up until a couple of years back, I'd had:
Ericsson GA628 (first mobile!)
They were all pretty good. The T68 was the most fragile, really. The P990 is still working, but the flip keyboard long since died, which is a pity.
Now I have an iPhone 3GS with the mophie Juice pack, and I too still long for a week's battery life... SE spent a long time proving Symbian would run on a dual-processor smartphone with good battery life, it's a real pity symbian is dead as the core of it would give us all some advantages there. Then again, the programming environment is bobbins.
Interested in your last comment about Sony not really being able to do any better than Panasonic did. I worked from them from 1999 to 2006 in Thatcham, and the big problem there was simply that Japanese management didn't have a bloody clue about the european market, and our management were too gutless to canvas to turn our site into a centre of european design.
It's possible to be a geographic division of a japanese company and make something with vision - the Panasonic Atlanta guys proved that, their schmoozing and handshaking made sure their site developed Panasonic's only S60 clamshell, but alas! their implementation was shocking and the thing fell apart.
Moral is - if Sony will let their european handset division have free rein to produce something wonderful, it'll do well. If they treat their new toy like an errant son like Matsushita did to Panasonic in Thatcham, it'll suffer the death of a thousand cuts as the timid accounts in Japan notice the profits falling off.
C'mon Sony, prove that you think Gaijin can actually do the job. Give em a chance. You might just find yourself with a winner.
So long indeed...
I have up until my HTC Desire, had nothing but SE handsets and they were all wonderful with the odd issue here and there but not enough to put me off the brand, I only moved as Android was just too tempting and at the time SE weren't offering me an option so I took the Desire on el regs' advice!
I still have them all and use them when I know I am going to be away for a few days without power where the Desire wont do more than 2 days the SE's will all do a week!
Still got a W810i
Bought second-hand from a colleague (who always liked to have an up-to-date mobile), to replace a K750i whose joystick had begun to misbehave (it always responded well to a spray of Servisol, but the can ruined the line of my pockets .....) To be honest, there wasn't much of a difference between the two save the different-shaped navigation device and the lack of a lens cover. Both let you use microphone recordings as ringing tones.
It's now carrying a Tesco PAYG SIM, and seeing occasional use in places where I wouldn't dare take my HTC Desire HD.
I liked SE phones
The K750i was the phone that lured me away from Nokia. Then I had a K800i. Then I tried a return to Nokia with the N95, which I absolutely hated, and moved on to a C902 as soon as possible!
The Palm Pre finally lured me away from Sony Ericsson.
I had the watch....
I was sucked in by the hype of the SE Watch.
I didn't have it for very long and sold it on eBay.
It was too big and bulky, weighed a lot, needed charging often and when my phone rang I just took my phone out and didn't look at the dial.
Nice idea though, not executed with much grace.
Sony > Sony Ericsson
I had three Sony phones before the merger with Ericsson, they were great. Never been tempted by an SE.
I had T68i, including the camera add on I picked up cheap on eBay, followed by a P800 which outlasted the contract, finally succumbing when it hit a car park floor. In the end I went back to Nokia following its demise until the iPhone 3G came out. No intention of moving to anything else now.
Sony Ericsson T68i, with two clip on cameras (for the T68 & T68i)
Sony Ericsson T610
Sony Ericsson K700
Sony Ericsson K850i CyberShot
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo (current phone)
Oh and i had a clip on Ericsson MP3 player for the T68 too!
They announced this the day after I bought a sony Ericsson phone (Elm) off of ebay , cheap natch but not bad at all. Presumably this was somehow the straw that broke the camel's back.
Meanwhile, Is it really possible that they provided it with an application called “tracker” so you can log your times and routes for outdoors sports activities, as well as compare to previous times, include lap functions etc, then they made it impossible to lock the keypad while this app is running? I hope I'm missing something obvious....
I had a T10
Back before Sony even got in on the act. Since then I've had one non-SE phone (which I hated).
I had a P900 and it was excellent. I could text and email using the handwriting recognition from inside my pocket - no phone I've used since has been able to do that. Then I had an S700 and it rewrote the rules about how good a camera in a phone could be - something SE keep doing with each generation, it seems: I've printed photos from my C905 at 18*12" and people haven't believed they've come from a phone. I have a friend who had a t610 from launch until *last year*
I think my favourite was the T38. It was so incredibly teeny, and the little flippy thing was so much fun. Answering the phone was like being in a sci-fi film.
I don't usually do brand loyalty, but SE have consistently made the best - for my requirements - handsets around. I'd jump ship in a moment if someone else made something I liked more, but that hasn't happened yet. I hope Sony can keep up the standard.
I had a Sony Z5.
I wish I still did as a backup. Great little minimal phone.
Your pic of the Sony Z5 brings back memories - one of the nicest phones I ever had (and the first too). I regretted changing it for years and I still have a soft spot for it now. I think it's probably still the smallest phone I've ever seen.