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Sony Ericsson announces pre-slurp loss

Hopes things will look up after Sony takes reins

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Sony Ericsson has announced what it no doubt hopes will be one of its last quarterly losses for the end of 2011, just before it gets slurped in full by Sony.

The mobile phone maker, which has struggled to compete with big Android houses like Motorola and Samsung, is to be fully taken over by Sony in the next few months. The move should allow greater integration with Playstation and tablet devices from the Japanese firm, and thereby pimp up its smartphone offerings.

In the meantime, Sony Ericsson handsets have failed dismally to set the world on fire, making a loss of €207m in the last quarter of 2011 and a full year loss of €247m.

"Our fourth quarter results reflected intense competition, unfavourable macroeconomic conditions and the effects of a natural disaster in Thailand this quarter," CEO Bert Nordberg explained in a canned statement.

However, the first of these is clearly the biggest obstacle to be overcome, as by its own estimates, Sony Ericsson is only holding onto ten per cent of the Android smartphone market.

New and exciting things are expected from Sony when it fully takes over in February, expectations that have been fuelled by a leaked document listing new handsets for this year.

The document, allegedly a leaked sales report for India, has been widely circulated on the net and gives a list of 11 new handsets to be released throughout the year.

The prices given are in rupees and phones normally cost more in India than they do in the US, but the range gives an idea of the sorts of high- and medium-end smartphones Sony might be looking at. At the high end, the Hayabusa would be £412 in a direct UK currency conversion, while the Mint would come in at £470.

Sony has already unveiled two post-Ericsson smartphones – the Xperia Ion and the Xperia S – at the CES show in Las Vegas, and more are expected at Mobile World Congress next month. ®

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