Fortuitous move by Sony, or perfect timing of a strategic plan?

Given the turmoil experienced by RIM’s Blackberry users this week, you have to wonder whether the reports circulating in the press that Sony are considering buying out Ericsson from the Sony Ericsson mobile phone handset joint venture could have come at a better time.

Sony Ericsson handsets currently occupy a relatively small percentage of the mobile phone market and are competing with the likes of Nokia and Samsung for the market share that RIM and iPhone don’t occupy.

As we all know handsets are now not just phones, but are now smartphones incorporating everything from cameras to games and much more. Thus potentially leveraging the Sony range of consumer-driven products, like electronic gaming, cameras etc. and incorporating their technology in to their handsets could well help Sony compete more aggressively with the other handset providers.

Buying out Ericsson is not likely to come cheaply though – analysts have speculated that the deal could cost Sony over $1.5bn and time could be of the essence here. If as threatened by many of RIM’s frustrated users, they migrate to another smartphone, then it’s hard to see at this point people moving anywhere other than the iPhone.

If this deal proceeds, maybe, just maybe, Sony could bring another genuine smartphone to the market.