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Sony Ericsson Exits CDMA 1X Category In U.S.

7/07/2003 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Just months after unveiling new U.S.-market CDMA 1X phones, Sony Ericsson said it will leave the North American CDMA 1X market to focus on GSM, GPRS, EDGE and third-generation W-CDMA.

The two 1X phones announced in March were to be available by now to carriers, but production has been put on hold while the company determines whether carriers will still want to offer them, a spokeswoman said. Sprint PCS had committed to one model, the T608. Sony Ericsson was also "in discussions" with other carriers, she said.

The company chose to focus on technologies that offered the best sales prospects and in which the company had developed the most R&D expertise, she explained. More carriers worldwide use GSM than any other format, she pointed out.

Sony Ericsson also had a minor share of the CDMA 1X market, where Korean companies dominate. Currently, the company delivers only one CDMA phone but seven GSM phones to U.S. carriers.

In the first quarter ending March 31, 2003, Sony Ericsson unit sales fell 7 percent to 5.4 million from the year-ago period and fell 24 percent from the fourth quarter of 2002. Net losses continued, with losses for the first quarter hitting $90 million, or about 104 million Euros.