Sony Ericsson has launched its first China 3G smartphone in a bid to capitalize on expected fast adoption of smartphones in the market.
The touchscreen A8i was jointly developed with China Mobile, running the carrier’s smartphone operating system and hooking directly to its suite of entertainment services via TD-SCDMA or WLAN.
Sony Ericsson said the device, which was unveiled yesterday, shows it is taking the Chinese market seriously.
“China is a hugely important market for Sony Ericsson and we are committed to maintaining our strong position,” CEO Bert Nordberg said.
The firm expects smartphones to account for half of all mobile phone sales in China by 2015, as the gap between the price of smartphones and feature phones narrows, WSJ.com reported.
Smartphones accounted for 11% of the 160.6 million handsets shipped in 2009, according to IDC.
Nordberg added that the vendor will continue selling W-CDMA devices through China Unicom, but has yet to decide whether it will be viable to develop cdma2000 handsets for China Telecom.
He said that the plan to shift from “volume to value” was succeeding, with ASPs growing to €160 ($202) in Q2 from €122 a year before, and Sony Ericsson capturing around 7% of global market revenues from just 4% of total shipments.