Sony Ericsson CEO Bert Nordberg confirmed in a Q3 2010 earnings conference call that the handset manufacturer will drop Symbian and produce a Windows Phone handset. Nordberg failed to give any details but confirmed the Windows Phone handset would not be available for the holiday season. This 2011 launch window puts the handset manufacturer behind its competitors, primarily HTC, LG, and Samsung, all three of which joined forces with Microsoft as hardware launch partners and are releasing multiple Windows Phone models later this month.
While it attempts to diversify with Windows Phone, Sony Ericsson remains committed to Android. The handset manufacturer estimates that it now has a 19% revenue share and is aiming to surpass HTC and Motorola as the #1 Android handset manufacturer. This past quarter Sony Ericsson released the Xperia X8, an affordable mid-range Android handset, and pushed out the Xperia X10 to China and the US. Future Android offerings were not mentioned in the earnings call and analyst Carolina Milanesi of Gartner’s U.K. group was quick to point out that “Though they have nice products, competition is very tough as the refresh cycle on Android is very quick and the X10 by now almost seems dated.”
Other analysts were kinder and gentler on Sony Ericsson and its future prospectus. “They will need a successor to the X10, which I expect to be announced this quarter, and they also need to launch on Windows Phone 7 quite soon,” aid Daniel Djurberg, an analyst for Stockholm-based Nordea Bank. In addition to new Android handsets, this upcoming quarter may also see the debut of the long-rumored PlayStation phone, a smartphone that integrates with Sony’s successful PlayStation gaming console.