Mobile handsets joint venture Sony Ericsson has said it plans to release its first 3G handsets commercially in H1 2002. The company aims to be the world number one in mobile multimedia devices by the end of 2006. Sony Ericsson is currently languishing in third place in the mobile market, far behind Nokia and Motorola.
The announcement could be viewed as slightly misleading. Japan is so far the only country to have launched a 3G network, and a Sony-developed 3G phone should indeed hit the market in H1. However, Sony Ericsson does not expect to have 3G devices available elsewhere until the second half of this year at best.
According to Datamonitor analyst Annette Bozorgan, Sony’s expertise in consumer electronics should help the company to produce 3G devices, which are closer to handheld computers than previous mobile phones have been. However, Ms Bozorgan does not believe the venture is likely to catch up with Nokia as early as 2006.