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."