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For the vast majority of the mobile phone era, Sony's contributions to the category have always been in partnership with the Swedish telecom company Ericsson. But today Sony announced that that joint venture, which turned 10 this month, was coming to an end, as the company had completed a deal to buy Ericsson out of its stake.

For the price of 1.06 billion euros (about $1.5 billion), Sony will be the sole owner of the enterprise and attain access to all of Ericsson's mobile patents. The Japanese tech giant is expected to immediately begin work on mobile phones that fall more neatly in line with its suite of other consumer electronics products, including TVs, PCs and the PS3.

“We can more rapidly and more widely offer consumers smartphones, laptops, tablets and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another and open up new worlds of online entertainment,” said Sony CEO Howard Stringer in a statement.

It will be interesting to see if a single, more limber Sony can pick up steam in the already hyper-competitive smartphone field.

[via The Next Web]