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Sony Ericsson plans to leave North Carolina to head to Atlanta

Cell phone manufacturer Sony Ericsson plans to close six offices across the world and will move its North American office from North Carolina to Atlanta.

Sony Ericsson spokespeople told the Associated Press that it will close the following facilities: Research Triangle Park, N.C.; San Diego; Seattle; Miami; Chennai, India; and Kista, Sweden.  

It will now focus on product development in Tokyo; Beijing; Redwood Shores, Calif.; and Lund, Sweden.

The company cut 2,000 jobs in 2008 and will finish cutting 2,000 additional jobs in 2009 before the end of the year.  

Atlanta was chosen as the new headquarters since it is "a gateway into Latin America," according to a Sony Ericsson spokesperson.  Furthermore, the company wants to be close to AT&T, as the wireless subscriber is one of its best clients.

North Carolina state officials were disappointed, especially since the phone manufacturer reportedly didn't communicate much with the state before making the decision to leave.

Sony Ericsson's core business unit of music-enabled phones has suffered due to the increase in popularity of smartphones.  The struggling phone manufacturer recently introduced a Google Android-powered smartphone, showing it understands a vital change must be made.

The company faces an uphill battle in its attempt to compete with Apple, Research In Motion, Samsung, and other manufacturers who have more experience in developing smartphones.





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