Sony Ericsson lost £173 million in Q4 2011

In the fourth quarter of 2011 Sony Ericsson suffered a loss of £173 million, as well as seeing a total drop of 20 per cent in year on year sales.

"Our fourth-quarter results reflected intense competition, unfavourable macroeconomic conditions and the effects of a natural disaster in Thailand this quarter," said Sony Ericsson chief Bert Nordberg in a statement. "We are aligning our business to drive profitability and to meet customer needs."

Not everything is bad news for the electronics maker, however, as Sony spent much of 2011 moving over to become a smartphone only manufacturer. Sales of the Android handsets that Sony is now pushing grew through the last year, though combined with traditional phone sales falling by the wayside, the overall results were not so strong.

According to Zdnet, Sony - which now owns the entirety of Sony Ericsson, having bought out the latter part of that partnership in October 2011 for $1.5 billion - managed to gather up 10 per cent of the Android market, which has become the most dominant in the smartphone game.

It's interesting how different the mobile marketplace is from just a few years ago. Before smartphones became the norm, Sony Ericsson was once a big player, with the advanced cameras found in the Cybershot K range of phones being a big selling point.