Ericsson doubles down on Sony Ericsson bet

Infrastructure vendor Ericsson predicted its struggling handset joint venture, Sony Ericsson, will return to profitability by year-end. The company also expressed renewed confidence in the JV, which earlier this week unveiled a trio of new devices.

"Over this year we will see continuous improvement in financials, we will get into profitable quarters, more towards the end of the year," Jan Wareby, Ericsson's Multimedia unit head, told Reuters at the Mobile World Congress trade show. Sony Ericsson has posted a string of six straight quarterly losses and, like its struggling competitor Motorola, is trying to charge back on the strength of Google's Android platform and other high-end devices.

Sony Ericsson, which received new financing in October, does not currently need any more, Wareby said. He said Ericsson has confidence in Sony Ericsson's trajectory.

"From an Ericsson perspective, the venture has all the sense in the world," he said. "The strategic logic has not changed. Actually, a lot of logic to do the joint venture has started to materialise and will do even more in coming years."

Ahead of the start of MWC in Barcelona, Sony Ericsson debuted two miniature versions of its Android-powered Xperia X10--one with a keyboard and one without--as well as a keyboard-equipped version of its previously released, Symbian S60-powered Vivaz gadget.

Sony Ericsson CEO Bert Nordberg told the AP that the company wants to boost its presence in the U.S. market, and indicated Sony Ericsson would adapt future phone models to work with more U.S. carriers. The handset maker has not announced a U.S. carrier deal for the Xperia X10, its flagship device, but Nordberg hinted that AT&T Mobility might be the likely carrier.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this AP article

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