Sony Ericsson CEO predicts challenges in 2009

Sony Ericsson said it expects a tougher climate in 2009 as it focuses on higher-end phones that will bring the company bigger margins in a weakened economic climate.

Sony Ericsson CEO Hideki Komiyama said that the company would focus on high-end devices, even if that meant a less diverse portfolio for the time being. "We have to start analysing products where we generate higher margins and eliminate the models where we have lower margins," he said.  

Komiyama said he expects the handset maker to maintain its 8 percent global market share, but that consumer sales, crimped by weaker demand, could be down as much as 6 percent. The company plans on releasing its fourth quarter results on Jan. 16. Sony Ericsson surpassed Motorola as the world's No. 3 handset maker in the third quarter, a position Komiyama said he would like to maintain for a significant period of time.

The joint venture Japan's Sony and Sweden's Ericsson has not fared well of late. The company posted a $33.6 million loss and saw a 10 percent decline in sales. 

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