Sony Ericsson slashes US presence
Layoffs trail shrinking sales
Sony Ericsson, bowing to the pressures of a Meltdown-induced decline in worldwide handset sales, has announced more layoffs in conjunction with a wide-ranging restructuring.
On the same day that President Obama warned that the US economy runs the risk of a "double-dip recession," Sony Ericsson doubled-down on its employee reductions.
As reported by North Carolina's Triangle Business Journal, Sony Ericsson informed employees on Wednesday that it will close its North American headquarters in that state's Research Triangle Park, tossing 400 employees onto the recession-clogged streets. North American R&D will move to Redwood Shores, California, a tech-industry cluster north of Silicon Valley.
Sony Ericsson will move its North American headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia. According to the TBJ, the Miami, Florida, office that managed the company's Latin American operation will also be closed, and the two divisions will be consolidated in one, to be named Region Americas. The company will also shutter offices in San Diego, California, and Seattle, Washington.
The decline in worldwide mobile-phone sales hasn't been kind to Sony Ericsson. According to a research report from IDC published at the end of this summer, global mobile-phone sales had dipped to 269.6 million units in the second quarter of 2009, down nearly 11 per cent from the 302.2 million units sold during the same period the year before.
Of those shrinking sales, Sony Ericsson's shrinkage was among the shrinkiest. The company's market share of 5.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2009 slipped from 8.1 per cent in the same quarter in 2008 - a drop of 43.4 per cent. ®
that's two this quarter
Earlier this year NCR announced they were relocating to Atlanta (and Columbus) Georgia. I can only think that this has something to do with corporate tax breaks.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
History repeating itself in the fashion of Motorola in Europe. One must wonder whether teaming up with Sony was a good move for Ericsson. Like Motorola, they haven't released a handset of note for years - no amount of teen-focussed advertising can change that.
Ericsson: divorce from Sony, go back to your Swedish roots and start creating the minimalist handsets for which you were famed. I still hold my old T28 as the pinnacle of mobile design!
Minor US presence
Missed deadlines and limited stock availability for US phones. Amongst other things. Sad to see, I love my SE phones, even with their limitations. But my next phone will likely be a Nokia, since they seem to share many attributes with the SE that I like so much.
Damn shame. And why develop phones specifically for the US market? How much extra does it cost to produce a phone like the K850i, which works everywhere by supporting 850, 1900, and 2100 3G networks? If the C905i did such, I would buy the damned thing but, no, SE has this thing about 'a' models, and the only C905a is butchered by AT&T, aside from being butt ugly.
I feel sorry for the US employees. I had been in contact with one fella in corporate who was pleasant, knowledgeable, and helpful. I hope he can either stay with the company and be taken care of or find another job which allows him to flourish. (Really, I don't find people like that often; he'd be a great asset to any corporation.)
Anyway, enough of that. Back to being pissed that SE has effectively ignored us. Sure, only 300 million people, but I wonder what the purchase rate is for phones here. Bah. My heat hurts too much to contemplate on this right now.