Loss-making handset vendor Sony Ericsson has added the issue of environmental sustainability to its new product portfolio strategy, unveiling two ‘green’ devices amid plans to reduce CO2 emissions across the whole company by 20 percent by 2015. The Swedish/Japanese joint venture launched its GreenHeart programme with two HSPA products – the C901 GreenHeart (pictured, left) and Naite (pictured, below right) – as well as the MH300 GreenHeart headset. ‘Green’ features included in the C901 include an electronic, in-phone manual to replace the standard paper version, as well as a phone casing made from a minimum of 50 percent recycled plastics. Naite will also come to market with a low-power charger. Sony Ericsson claims that these developments will reduce the overall full-life CO2 footprint of both devices by 15 percent. In a statement, Dick Komiyama, company president, announced “a commitment to roll out these innovations across the broader portfolio in 2010 and 2011,” adding that the company wants to ‘green’ its full product portfolio. Operators O2 UK and TeliaSonera supported Sony Ericsson’s plans.
Sony Ericsson certainly needs to attract customer attention with new initiatives. According to the latest Gartner figures, Sony Ericsson slipped to fifth place in terms of global phone shipments in 1Q09, as its market share declined to 5.4 percent compared to 7.5 percent in the year-earlier quarter. In April, the company reported a first-quarter pretax loss of EUR358 million after sales dropped 36 percent from the year earlier. It is currently implementing a cost-cutting programme that aims to reduce annual operating expenses by EUR400 million, to be completed by mid-2010. Analysts have estimated that the two parent companies (Japan’s Sony and Sweden’s Ericsson) could each need to make a capital injection of EUR500 million in the unit before the end of the year. Last week the vendor unveiled three new ‘mobile entertainment’-focused phones that will launch later this year in time for the key holiday sales season. Meanwhile, the vendor yesterday announced plans to get into the application store game, opening up so developers can target its mobile customers. The company will team up with GetJar to distribute these applications through its PlayNow service, which already delivers movies and other content to Sony Ericsson phones.