Sony Ericsson seeking profit, not market share

Sony Ericsson, fresh off of posting its first quarterly profit since 2008, is focused on continued profitability, not growing its market share, according to the company's chief executive.

The handset maker expects to maintain its 4 percent global handset market share on the back of an improved portfolio, Sony Ericsson CEO Bert Nordberg said earlier this week at Ericsson's (NASDAQ:ERIC) Capital Markets Day. For right now, though, he said market share concerns will take a backseat to improving profitability.

Essentially, Nordberg hopes to continue the trends that became apparent in the company's first quarter. Sony Ericsson's global market share dipped from 5 percent to 4 percent, but its average selling price rose to $181, compared with around $162 in the first quarter of 2009. The company's first phone based on Google's Android platform, the Xperia X10, began shipping at the end of the quarter, alongside the Symbian-based Vivaz. Sony Ericsson's focus will be on high-end devices, but the company is not completely abandoning volume shipments, Nordberg said.

The shifting handset landscape illustrated the effects of this strategy in the first quarter. Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) booted Sony Ericsson out of the No. 4 spot in the global handset market share list, down to No. 5, according to research firm IDC.

Going forward, Nordberg said Sony Ericsson will focus on Android as its main smartphone operating system, but will also continue to work with Symbian and Windows Mobile, according to Dow Jones Newswires. He also said Sony Ericsson may ship phones running on the upgraded Symbian^3 platform, but it will evaluate the OS first. Nokia (NYSE:NOK) plans to keep Symbian as its flagship OS, and pushed back the release of Symbian^3 to fine-tune it. Nokia will release its first Symbian^3 phones in the third quarter.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article

Related Articles:
RIM kicks Motorola out of Tier 1 global handset listing
Sony Ericsson posts first profit since 2008
Sony Ericsson rips out new Android, Symbian phones
Sony Ericsson's string of losses continue
Sony Ericsson debuts Xperia X10, first Android phone