Sony Ericsson warns of “phone pirates”

Pirate copies of mobile phones is threatening to derail Sony Ericsson's growth, the company has admitted, pointing to fake branded phones being sold on the Asian market for a quarter of the price of the genuine product.

“All products of any value get copied. It’s also happening with our products,” said Sony Ericsson’s Nordic head of marketing, Per Alksten.

In a country such as China, which has been hailed as a copycat’s heaven and where 90 million mobile phones were sold in the first ten months of the year, there is a natural temptation to sell exclusive models at a fraction of the price.

When Sony Ericsson released its music-mobile Walkman W800 in China, pirate copies came out on the market at the same time. The Chinese company Music King has produced a version of the W800 which is almost identical to the original. Just the logo reveals that it is a copy – and it costs a quarter of the price of Sony Ericsson’s product.

“As soon as we are aware that there is a copy, our lawyers begin working intensively to stop them,” said Per Alksten.

“For us, this is about protecting our trademark and being able to guarantee that customers who buy a Sony Ericsson phone have got an original product.”

On the Swedish advertising site there has been an ad for two models of the Sony Ericsson W900 – which does not come out until next year. The price demanded is 2,500 kronor each – more than half the real retail price.

“It’s pure fraud – or theft of preview models,” warned Alksten.

TT/The Local


Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

Swedish network equipment maker Ericsson said Monday that it was suspending all of its Russian operations over the war in Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

The telecom giant already announced in late February that it would stop all deliveries to Russia following Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“In the light of recent events and of European Union sanctions, the company will now suspend its affected business with customers in Russia indefinitely,” Ericsson said in a statement.

The company added that it was “engaging with customers and partners regarding the indefinite suspension of the affected business.”

“The priority is to focus on the safety and well-being of Ericsson employees in Russia and they will be placed on paid leave,” it said.

READ ALSO: How has Sweden responded to Putin’s war in Ukraine so far?

Hundreds of Western firms ranging from Ikea to Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and McDonald’s have stopped operations in the country since the invasion, with French banking group Societe Generale announcing Monday it was selling its stake in Russia’s Rosbank.

Ericsson has around 600 employees in Russia, and is a “major supplier to the largest operator MTS and the fourth largest operator Tele2,” a company spokeswoman told AFP, adding that together with Ukraine, Russia accounts for less than two percent of revenue.

As a result, the equipment maker said it would record a provision for 900 million Swedish kronor ($95 million, 87 million euros) for the first quarter of 2022 for “impairment of assets and other exceptional costs,” though no staff redundancy costs were included.
Ericsson is due to publish its first quarter earnings on April 14.