Sony Ericsson CEO Admits Troubles, PlayStation Phone & X1 Failure

Dick Komiyama chooses not to mince his words as he tackles the sorry state of the troubled handset maker.

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