Sony Corp. (SNE) is taking control of its mobile business. The consumer electronics giant says it will axe 1,000 jobs and move its mobile business unit from Sweden to Japan. Earlier this year, Sony spent $1.3 billion to buy Ericsson out of the two companies’ joint venture created to produce mobile devices.
Now that Sony has full control of the business unit, the move from Sweden to Japan is hardly surprising, but it could cost the Japanese giant some talent. Sony Mobile was located in Lund, Sweden, home to Lund University, which is known for producing top software and semiconductor engineers. Sony plans to continue some software and mobile app development in Lund, but says that 1,000 positions will be cut by March 2014. The cuts represent about 15% of the Sony Mobile workforce.
Sony says it shipped about 34 million smartphones during the year ending in March 2012. In comparison, Apple shipped 35 million iPhones during the quarter ending in March. Sony Mobile makes Android Xperia smartphones, and recently launched its first LTE handset in the United States.
Today Taiwan’s Digitimes is reporting that Sony Mobile is teaming up with Foxconn, Arima and Compal to enter the lower end of the smartphone market. Sony joins several other Asian smartphone makers in focusing on the fast-growing market for smartphones priced below $200 without a contract.
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