Sony exec sees Sony Ericsson as critical to product plans

A top Sony executive said Sony Ericsson is key to the company's plans to get games, email and other features into more mobile devices. However, Kazuo Hirai, Sony's executive deputy president, declined to comment on a recent Wall Street Journal report that said Sony is nearing a deal to buy Ericsson's (NASDAQ:ERIC) portion of their decade-old 50-50 joint venture. Speaking at AllThingsD's Asia:D conference, Hirai said that "the Sony Ericsson management team understands how important it is to be a part of this Sony strategy" and that the two are in lockstep whether it is part of a joint venture or not. He also said Sony's videogame unit is "in discussions" to expand PlayStation Suite, its smartphone and tablet application for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system platform, to a more devices not made by Sony or Sony Ericsson. Article (sub. req.)

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