Android has been lucrative, even for companies beyond Google. OS rivals like Microsoft figured they’d benefit from Android’s success, one way or another, by raking in an estimated $44 million windfall from licensed royalties off manufacturers’ Android device sales. But Sony Ericsson, which has been developing its own Android strategy, isn’t planning on tripping up over the patent infringement war.
Unlike Google and other Android handset makers, Sony Ericsson has an extensive vault of patents to protect its devices, fending off legal warriors that have taken on Android in the courtroom. Sony Ericsson CEO, Bert Nordberg, offered his take on the patent wars in a Wall Street Journal report, noting the company is far more defensive about technology they’ve developed. With the high profile suits between Samsung and Apple, the patent war has taken a front seat, bringing into question a number of strategies competitors are using to stay ahead of the mobile game. And while Sony Ericsson isn’t the most dominant player in the Android ecosystem, it still hopes to be.
Clearing the way for Sony Ericsson
With Motorola becoming a part of Google, and Samsung taking the heat from Apple and Microsoft, the path is being cleared for Sony Ericsson’s steady strategy to play out. And while others begin to diversify their mobile OS portfolio, Sony Ericsson is relatively faithful to Android. Sony Ericsson’s given up on dying platforms like Symbian, as well as its presence in the low-end market. Armed with patents, Sony Ericsson is angling the US mobile market through devices like the Xperia PLAY. For Sony Ericsson, it seems Android is just another avenue through which it can distribute products and services, even cloud-based systems such as the PlayStation Network.
Only time will tell whether or not Sony Ericsson’s strategy will work. The company has posted losses in recent quarters, and currently has only 11 percent of the Android market. It’s evident that Sony Ericsson is making a play with niche devices to further its own products, and the tablet market is likely Sony Ericsson’s next big opportunity to make waves in a stormy sea of Android gadgets, marketplaces and monetization methods.