With Sony Ericsson keen to capitalise on a market increasingly obsessed with touch screens, high resolution cameras, smart phone functionality and HSDPA it has decided to jettison the low end to someone far more focused upon it.
Today the company announced it has signed licensing and ODM (Original Developer Manufacturer) agreements with bargain basement favourite Sagem. The deal will cover the development of entry level GSM, GPRS and EDGE mobile phones. As part of the deal, Sagem Communication will license certain hardware and software technologies to Sony Ericsson and provide Sony Ericsson with a number of Sony Ericsson branded mobile phones.
"We chose Sagem Communication because their software platforms are mature, scaleable and flexible," said Howard Lewis, SE's VP and Head of PBU (Product Business Unit). "In addition we were impressed with the quality and performance of their phones, which have been developed by a skilled workforce. Our co-operation with Sagem Communication will allow us to offer a mature range of phones right from the start."
In the small print SE also confirmed that it has drawn up plans with Sagem to build a development unit specifically for entry level mobiles near Sagem's HQ in Cergy, France. Personally, I thought Sagem HQ was a development unit specifically for entry level mobiles already...?
So there you have it. I've never been a particular fan of Sony Ericsson and I don't like Sagem so it seems like a perfect match. In fact it lets me hone my hatred - much, as a Newcastle fan, like when Sunderland appointed Roy Keane...