Sony Ericsson followed rival Nokia by raising its forecast for the global mobile phone market as it reported a strong first quarter, driven by demand for high-end music and camera phones.
Sony Ericsson expect that more than 800M mobile handsets will be sold worldwide in 2006. This is becoming a huge market and grows unabated. Expect all the leading mobile players (and particularly the top 5) to benefit handsomely.
Also expect them all to structure themselves and their handsets around the three core sectors of the market: mass market, entertainment and corporate. The latter two provide the margins and the former the volumes. Sony Ericsson is extremely well positioned to take advantage of the entertainemt sector and have just launched a hi-end video phone.
And the Walkman phone continues to outperform. It may prove the single largest threat to Apple's iPod in the short term.
The reall battle as always is two pronged, market share and high average selling prices. So far all the leading players are achieving both. But as competition hots up - can they hang on to it?
Sony Ericsson also need to figure out how take take on LG and Samsung for the number 3 slot. If they pull that off they will prove an enormously valuable company for both parents.