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Official: Sony and Ericsson are divorced

Sony smartphone biz trumpeted as ink dries on break-up deal

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The divorce papers have been officially signed for Sony Ericsson, giving Japanese entertainment biz Sony its very own phone-making unit and Swedish company Ericsson some lovely cash.

Sony announced that the transaction was a done deal today and said that it was renaming the business to Sony Mobile Communications.

The speculation that Sony plans to bring bits of PlayStation into mobiles and tablets, and bits of smartphones into its TVs and PCs, and generally make them all a total Sony experience is borne out by the tech firm's statement:

Sony will rename Sony Ericsson “Sony Mobile Communications”, and further integrate the mobile phone business as a vital element of its electronics business, with the aim of accelerating convergence between Sony’s lineup of network enabled consumer electronics products, including smart phones, tablets, TVs and PCs.

While Sony got the kid, Ericsson got the cash in the break-up of their long-running joint venture, bagging 7.5 billion Swedish krona ($1.1bn, £707m) and a "broad IP cross-licensing agreement".

The Swedes didn't have much to say today about the end of the venture, but when Ericsson first announced the deal it said that it wanted to "focus on the global wireless market as a whole".

"We will now enhance our focus on enabling connectivity for all devices, using our R&D and industry leading patent portfolio to realise a truly connected world," Hans Vestberg, president and CEO, said at the time.

Sony Ericsson had been in trouble for some time as its later generations of smartphones failed to make a dent in the super-soaraway popularity of iPhones and Android. The pundits' preferred remedy to revive the mobile line-up involved melding PlayStation fun into the mobes, something Sony was unlikely to do while Ericsson was still on board. ®

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