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Sony Ericsson North American chief steps down amid massive loss for quarter

Few were surprised to hear that Sony Ericsson was losing massive amounts of money with a line of products that is as uninspiring to consumers as consumer electronics get. Sony Ericsson made most of its profits in the mid-range mobile segment where many consumers shopped until the global recession hit.

Today only the high-end smartphone segment is continuing to grow in significant numbers, unfortunately for Sony Ericsson, it has no popular products in the high-end range. Sony Ericsson announced that it would be posting a massive loss for the quarter this week to the tune of as much as $526 million.

Shortly after the news was announced that the flailing mobile joint venture between Sony and Ericsson would post a much higher than expected loss, the U.S. head of the company has announced he will be leaving. EWeek reports that Najmi Jarwala, president and head of the North America region for Sony Ericsson, will be stepping down at the end of March.

Jarwala issued a statement saying in part, "We have introduced an increasing number of new products, grown market share, built operator relationships and, perhaps most importantly, have laid the foundation for North America to play a key role in the long-term growth and success of Sony Ericsson."

The foundation Jarwala laid was unable to keep the company from losing massive amounts of money.  EWeek reports that Sony Ericsson sales were going strong as recently as 2007 with strong demand for its Walkman music phones and its quality camera phone offerings. Technology fans will note that 2007 was the year that Apple debuted its iPhone, which quickly went on to dominate the smartphone market and woo customers who may have shopped in the mid-range where Sony Ericsson was strong.

A Sony spokesperson told eWeek, "We [Sony] will continue to be committed to the joint venture."

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Gotta cut those prices
By quiksilvr on 3/24/2009 1:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
Their phones are nothing short of incredible, but their prices are ridiculous. They really need to market to the public that these phones exist to get their sales up or scrap the entire phone line up and start from scratch.

RE: Gotta cut those prices
By ThisSpaceForRent on 3/24/2009 2:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
I've never shopped for one, but from your description it sounds like Ericsson does the creating side of things while Sony does the pricing side.

RE: Gotta cut those prices
By DtTall on 3/24/2009 3:31:11 PM , Rating: 2
Totally agree with you. I had one a few years ago and loved it. It seemed to have all of the common sense features a person would need.

That said, the price kills them. Also, IMHO, their marketing in the US (because that is all I can speak to) is not good at all and doesn't convey the reason why I should be paying what they are asking.

RE: Gotta cut those prices
By Mgz on 3/25/2009 1:42:28 AM , Rating: 2
their phone is maybe not popular in US but in Asia/Hong Kong they're everywhere.

RE: Gotta cut those prices
By akosixiv on 3/25/2009 12:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
it was expected already. Its part sony anyway so basically it would not be cheap.

Some of their phones are quite ok. Its just that nobody's buying from them much.

By cnar77 on 3/24/2009 6:22:25 PM , Rating: 2
That's the problem with philosophies which are based on profit at all cost. SE cannot seriously expect to be making huge profits during a down market. They should be taking some of that cash on hand and developing the next piece of electronics for when the market recovers. In 12 months time persons who owned phones assuming the economies recover will be seeking out new and the latest devices once they are back on their feet. Phones have become status symbols like watch brands Rolex and Breitling.

Apply got smart. The took a computer and allowed you to make phone calls (iphone). They also made sure it was seen as an upgrade to their ipod. Whether or not Ballmer was right that we're paying for a logo, its a damn nice logo.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
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