Sony Mobile Communications (formerly Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB) is a multinational mobile phone manufacturing company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation. It was founded on October 1, 2001 as a joint venture between Sony and the Swedish telecommunications equipment company Ericsson, under the name Sony Ericsson. Sony acquired Ericsson's share in the venture on February 16, 2012.
Sony Mobile Communications has research and development facilities in Tokyo, Japan; Chennai, India; Lund, Sweden; Beijing, China and Silicon Valley, United States.Sony Mobile is the fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer by market share in the fourth quarter of 2012. The current flagship device of Sony is the Sony Xperia Z, the first high-end waterproof smartphone.
In the United States, Ericsson partnered with General Electric in the early nineties, primarily to establish a US presence and brand recognition.
Ericsson had decided to obtain chips for its phones from a single source—a Philips facility in New Mexico. In March 2000, a fire at the Philips factory contaminated the sterile facility. Philips assured Ericsson and Nokia (their other major customer) that production would be delayed for no more than a week. When it became clear that production would actually be compromised for months, Ericsson was faced with a serious shortage. Nokia had already begun to obtain parts from alternative sources, but Ericsson's position was much worse as production of current models and the launch of new ones was held up.