Tokyo: Sony Ericsson, a cellphone joint venture between Sony Corp and Ericsson, has no plans to delay the launch of a phone in China that runs Google Inc’s Android operating system, the company’s chief executive said on Thursday.
Google this week postponed the launch in China of two mobile phones which use the Android platform, in the first sign its business in the country is starting to be affected by a dispute over hacking and censorship.
The manufacturers of those phones, which were scheduled for release in China on Wednesday, are Motorola and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
“I don’t think that will affect us at all,” Sony Ericsson chief executive Bert Nordberg said on the sidelines of a Tokyo news conference held jointly with NTT DoCoMo Inc to mark the Japan launch in April of its Android phone.
He said the 50-50 joint venture plans to launch the smartphone phone, dubbed X10, in China and the rest of the world this spring. China is the world’s largest mobile phone market.
Loss-making Sony Ericsson holds high hopes for its Android phone after the company was hit by the global downturn as well as the lack of a strong smartphone offering to rival Apple’s iPhone and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry.
Smartphones, with advanced mobile Internet and networking functions, have been the one bright spot in an otherwise depressed handset market over the past year.
Expectations are equally high at NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest mobile phone operator, after Apple Inc’s iPhone helped smaller rival Softbank Corp run ahead of DoCoMo in monthly net user growth.
Softbank is the sole supplier of Apple’s iPhone in Japan.
Sony Ericsson’s X10 is the second Android phone for DoCoMo, which already offers an HTC Corp phone that uses the operating system.
Following Nordberg’s comments, shares in Sony closed up 4.1% at ¥3,185, outperforming the Tokyo stock market’s electrical machinery index, which gained 1.8%.