Sony plans to drop the Ericsson from its phone branding by the middle of next year, after it finalises the acquisition of Ericsson's stake in the company's combined smartphone business.
The Times of India is quoting Vice President Kristian Tear with this timeline, reporting that Sony is planning a massive marketing campaign at this time to reaffirm its brand loyalty under the Sony banner. Sony will focus only on smartphones thereafter, ditching any current plans to work on feature phones.
One such smartphone might be the Xperia Cloud, although it will likely be released before the rebranding is complete. Based on a series of recent leaks showing various promotional images and copy, the Xperia Cloud (currently known by its codename Nozomi) will apparently feature a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, a 720p HD resolution screen and a 12-megapixel camera. Like Google's Galaxy Nexus, the Xperia Cloud should also feature Android's new software, with an updated version of Sony Ericsson's Android overlay on top.
The name Cloud is, for us, the most intriguing part of this mystery, suggesting a phone experience that is plugged in to cloud services even more than the current Xperia already is. The Xperia Arc S, for example, comes pre-loaded with apps for Sony's Entertainment Network, including streaming video and music. Will the Cloud take this concept further? Will it be LTE ready when it comes to Australia? 4G web services will definitely help if the Cloud needs to stay online.