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Sony 'phasing out' feature phones, says Howard Stringer

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Sony Ericsson
Sony Ericsson

Now that Sony Ericsson is being acquired entirely by the first half of its namesake (for about $1.47 billion paid to the latter half), the first order of business is to exit the feature phone business. Speaking at a press conference on the merger, Sony CEO Howard Stringer announced that they were "phasing out" the devices altogether in favor of smartphones. As Pocket-Lint notes, that would include devices like the W995 and a majority of its Walkman and Cybershot handsets — although, if Live with Walkman was any indication, those brands were already being transitioned to the smartphone realm.

When asked about future operating systems, and specifically if it would buy webOS, Stringer gave a coy, "never say never." But given how deeply-entrenched Android is in Sony's ecosystem — the platform powers both its upcoming flagship portable console (PlayStation Vita) as well as its official PlayStation emulator for the Xperia Play / S1 — at this stage, we really wouldn't take that to be anything more than the affable Brit being playful.