Sony Ericsson introduced its first 3G, or third-generation high-speed multimedia phone, on Monday at an international show in Cannes, France.
Also at the show, an Ericsson executive told Reuters news service that the joint venture has aggressive plans to achieve profitability as well as to taking over the top spot in mobile phone market share.
The Z1010 model, which opens like a clamshell, includes two built-in digital cameras for high-speed video, two display screens and other features. The phone can capture video as well as still images and also includes Sony Memory Stick transfer technology for the easy transfer of images.
“We are showing this product now to support operators’ commercial 3G launch programs and to inspire users and application developers with full 3G functionality support,” said Jan Wareby, head of sales and marketing at Sony Ericsson in a statement.
The new phone is being shipped to network operators for interoperability testing and is expected to be put on sale in the second half of the year, the company said. It disclosed no prices.
In an interview with Reuters, Wareby said the phone was part of the company’s strategy to get in the black. The joint venture has lost more than $400 million since it was formed in 2001, and last year Ericsson threatened to pull out of the company if sales didn’t improve.
“We have plans to return to the black this year through increasing market share,” Wareby told Reuters. “Being No. 1 in 2006 — we still have a clear objective to be there.”
Sony Ericsson recently received a $324.6 million cash commitment from its parent companies. Fourth quarter sales increased 4.2 percent to 7.1 million units, and its market share increased to 6 percent from 4.9 percent. Losses were $74.6 million on $1.3 billion in sales.
Nokia is the market share leader at 39 percent of handsets followed by Motorola at 19 percent.
Sony Ericsson currently has several models of phones including one other equipped with a camera, the P800.
Sony Ericsson: www.sonyericsson.com