Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB is a joint venture established on October 1, 2001 by the Japanese consumer electronics company Sony Corporation and the Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson to manufacture mobile phones. The stated reason for this venture is to combine Sony's consumer electronics expertise with Ericsson's technological knowledge in the communications sector. Both companies have stopped making their own mobile phones.
The company's global management is based in Hammersmith, London, and it has research and development teams in Lund, Tokyo, Mexico City, Beijing, and Redwood Shores in the US. By 2009, it was the fourth-largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world after Nokia, Samsung and LG. The sales of products largely increased due to the launch of the adaptation of Sony's popular Walkman and Cyber-shot series. In 2010, its market share had dropped to sixth place behind Research In Motion and Apple.
Sony Ericsson has struggled since the arrival of Apple's iPhone in the third quarter of 2007. Its handset shipments have dropped from a high of 30.8m in Q4 2007 to just 8.1m in 1Q 2011, according to its financial reports. The company had made net losses in six of the 15 quarters and seen its cash pile shrink from €2.2bn to €599m, after taking a €375m cash injection from its joint owners. The eclipse of the Symbian operating system, initially by the iPhone and then by Google's Android, has affected Sony Ericsson's position in the market.