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Rumour Mill: Sony Mobile to axe hundreds of jobs in Sweden

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Sony Mobile Communications will dramatically reduce its workforce at its mobile phone factory in Lund, Sweden, according to reports from local newspaper Sydsvenskan.

Xperia Arc

Sony has placed a strong emphasis on its Xperia phones, including the the Xperia Arc (pictured).

The move, which would be the first major strategic decision by the Japanese company after completing its acquisition of the stake held by it former joint venture partner Ericsson earlier this year, will likely see the development of new handsets transferred to Japan, but retaining software research and development in Skåne, Sweden.

Sony Mobile is thought to be considering cuts ranging from several hundred up to 1,000 of the roughly 3,000 staff and consultants at Lund, according to Reuters. Any reduction in the workforce would be on top of the 149 already planned at the R&D in Lund, which were announced in April.

Sony Mobile spokesman Gustaf Brusewitz declined to comment on the report, and unions also declined to comment, according to Reuters.

Commenting on the rumour, Stefan Olsson, an industry analyst at Alandsbanken, told Reuters that it was possible some jobs would be moved to Japan. "Strategy and the integration of product development with the rest of Sony would be the main reason," Olsson said.

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai earlier this year outlined a turnaround plan that stakes the company's future on mobile devices such as the Xperia smartphone, gaming and digital imaging. However, the CEO is under pressure to reverse the fortunes of Sony, which this month slashed its 2012/2013 operating profit forecast, according to Reuters.

For more:
- see this Sydsvenskan article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Reuters article

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