Home / News / Mobile Phone News / Sony Ericsson CEO Admits Troubles, PlayStation Phone & X1 Failure

Sony Ericsson CEO Admits Troubles, PlayStation Phone & X1 Failure

Gordon Kelly


Sony Ericsson CEO Admits Troubles, PlayStation Phone & X1 Failure

Straight from the horses mouth...

In a candid interview with the Financial Times, Sony Ericsson CEO Hideki (Dick) Komiyama has revealed the extent of the challenges currently facing his company.

"If we do not adapt to this new technology or new market environment, we're going to lose," he admitted when challenged about the paucity of its smartphone offerings and he talks about the company being in 'near-anarchy' when he took over in November 2007.

He admits to poor sales of the Xperia X1 and describes it as "a kind of experiment" but says it hopes to have at least two new smartphones released by the end of the year with a third in early 2010. No, it's not really great shakes is it, but hopefully one is the Idou. At least the handsets will spread across different OSes with Symbian, Windows Mobile and Android all confirmed but Komiyama said the attempts to build its own platform around Swedish purchase UIQ had proved a "bad bet". Motorola co-owns UIQ - see where we're going here...?

In fact it seems in this astonishing interview that nothing was taboo as Komiyama confirmed a PlayStation based mobile phone "could happen" before saying the job can be a "pain in the ass sometimes...and if I lose, what the hell?".

Komiyama's worries have also been echoed by Ericsson CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg who told the FT that Sony as "a logical buyer" for the troubled handset maker while acknowledging a cash injection into the firm was "not unlikely".

Now overall I'm not a fan of journalism which is based on pulling out phrases rather than taking quotes in their entirety, but from the picture painted by the FT there is certainly a strong sense of alarm emanating from both men. This is hardly surprising given it lost 358m euros and cut 2 000 jobs in Q1 alone especially when combined with the lack of invention seen in its ranges, but we'll not sound the death knell yet.

At least for a few quarters...


Komiyama via The FT

Svanberg via FT


May 8, 2009, 7:53 pm

The Xperia is not a failure, the X1 is the best Windows Mobile phone currently available! It's the only WM phone that combines a physical keyboard and a normal 3.5mm headphone jack, excellent GPS and the best battery life of all comparable phones.

The only problem is that Ericsson is unable to convince the public of this. That's a marketing problem, not a shortcoming of the Xperia.


May 8, 2009, 10:11 pm

@Aspegic - it was a financial and sales failure I think was his point. Besides, it isn't the best Windows smartphone, the Touch HD, Diamond and Touch Pro are all vastly superior IMP(professional)O

PS - I will bet you £1 million you own an Xperia? ;)


May 8, 2009, 10:58 pm

The HD and Diamond do not have a physical keyboard and the Diamond has a pethatic 900mah battery. The Diamond has a propriety headphone connector instead of a normal 3.5mm jack, the same is true for the Pro.

You will not find a single other Windows Mobile phone that has a physical keyboard and a normal 3.5mm headphone connector. The Xperia is the only one. The long battery life is a big bonus and so is the exceptional GPS. If I would have to mention anything bad about the X1 it would be that it is a little bit on the heavy side.

And yes, of course I have a X1, duh! Why would I buy anything less??? Before I bought it I did a comparison of ALL WM phones on the market and the Xperia was the ONLY one that met ALL my requirements.


May 8, 2009, 11:13 pm

@Aspegic - it's called buyer's conviction ;) Very happy you like the Xperia - your points are valid. Personally I wouldn't have one if it came wrapped in gold carried on the bosoms of angels.


May 9, 2009, 8:14 am

The Xperia X1 is a failure, first and foremost because it has a design flaw, one that Sony has not really stood up and taken responsibility for. Namely this device is suffering cracks in its casing at a huge rate. And Sony really should be doing a recall or refunds for this device because it is their flagship, sold to the most valuable customers: those who pay straight cash for the most expensive phones. This is just poor business management, as you have lost those customers for life.

Furthermore, although this device has a 3.5mm jack, it has relatively high audio distortion. Why bother with the 3.5mmm jack if you dont follow through with the rest of the audio? I mean we are talking about SONY, a company that specialises in Walkmans for about 40 years now. That is unacceptable.

The keyboard is the right idea, but in execution it isnt good enough. The keys have poor feedback and there should be more of them.

Accelerometer? Not found here.

Camera? Well it is 3.2 Megapixes which is enough but it isnt any better than other phone cameras because it is let down by the same old minuscuel sensor and cheap, tiny plastic lens.

This COULD have been a great phone but the THOUGHT behind it wasnt good enough and neither was the execution. That failure speaks volumes about why Sony Ericsson isnt making money - they are too sloppy, not focused enough on customer retention and value.


May 10, 2009, 12:51 am

Kanu - Clearly you dont own an X1 - the camera on it really is better than i would have expected - the keyboard is great and easy to use - HARDLY ANY ONE sufferes from the cracks. Those who do send it back and get a replacement/repair - And SE included the Media Panel - the 3.5 mm jack is brilliant - you views are way to biased

Jawad Mateen

May 10, 2009, 7:31 am

Hey there everyone...

Mmm... Seems like the Xperia X1 stole Kanu's lunch or something. His post certainly gives it away. "It's a remarkable FAILURE! Goddamm... I feel better about myself after bashing a smartphone like this while none of my claims are backed by any major review website or a publication. How it dared giving me that look... YEAH!!!

How legitimate are all his claims... Check these out as he is 'The One' who knows how Xperia X1's plans of world domination bite the dust.

"Unacceptable" is the word used for the supposed "High audio distortion". You even know what that means exactly? I for one don't. When was the last time someone's handset-buying decision went something like, "No... No, the screen is bright, the software is intuitive, the design is compelling but... Aha! It's got HIGH AUDIO DISTORTION. I don't even know what that means but my name is Beethoven if it doesn't suck to find this kind of drawback in a SMARTPHONE... And it's not."

"Tiny PLASTIC lens"... Hmmm

Now we all know that why great camera-phones like SE C905 or Samsung INNOV8 took great pictures. Because they were all secretly fitted with the same STANDARD SIZE lens found in the Canon G series and that is NOT made of plastic for sure.

"Customers lost for life"

Kanu: "Honestly! I spoke to all those pissed off customers and they told me they were lost... for life, because somehow I can. Why or How... You ask!!! Ok... First of all I. HAVE. A. HUGE... database of all unhappy Sony Ericsson customers and secondly I. HAVE. A. HUGE..."

"Keys... There should be more of them"

Kanu: "Seriously... where's the 'Triangle and 'R1' keys. It IS a Sony handset... Right?

Ahh...Who am I kidding making these arguments... DIE SONY ERICSSON!!!

PS - And burn in hell!!!"

All closet fanboys should grow up. Fighting and coming up with childish claims over which Smartphone or platform is retarted and almost ordering people to buy a certain handset is border-line Fascist.

I own a Samsung Omnia... And I am perfectly happy even if many see me as the guy with not-so high expectations contented with a crippled device that still uses a stylus while other technologically advanced people use their iPhones to schedule their flights to the Moon. But that's OK.

PS - Gordon... don't fry me for having an Omnia. It was duly grounded for two weeks because it stole your lunch.


May 10, 2009, 9:42 pm

I have both touch HD and xperia x1. Aspegic points are indeed valid and I too prefer the X1 over the Touch HD... Hardware-wise, the only thing Touch HD has over X1 is the much larger screen (i honestly don't care about the 5mp vs 3.2mp or the accelerometer on Touch HD), IMO of course.

Regarding the UI, Touch HD clearly has the upper hand and that's why I use touchflo3d on my X1 :) (the only other panel i use is the media xp) thanks to the wonderful community of XDA-developers

On stock ROM the X1 was s-l-o-w but guys like itje and smaberg cooked fast and good looking ROMS based on HTC's touchflo UI so the Touch HD UI and speed advantages over X1 doen't really matter in the end, since WM is highly customizable :) It all boils down to hardware aspects.

If the Touch HD had a hardware keyboard (which I love on the X1) and a 3.5mm jack then it would be the better device.

- Excuse my english, not my native language as you can see.

Oh and I've had tons of HTC phones (and most probably will get more in the future) so don't call me biased, this is my first SE phone ever. My father is using the Touch HD and is quite pleased with it :) It's indeed a great phone but doesn't quite fit my needs

comments powered by Disqus