PolygamousRanchKid sends in this excerpt from a Reuters report: "Sony Corp is in talks to buy out Ericsson's stake in their mobile phone joint venture, a source said, in a bid to catch up with rivals. The move could help Sony recoup ground in the battle against Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics, where it has been hampered by its disparate offerings of mobile gadgets and online content. The joint venture, formed in 2001, thrived after its breakthroughs with Walkman music phones and Cybershot cameraphones, both of which leveraged Sony's brands. But it lost out to bigger rivals Nokia and Samsung at the cheaper end of the market, and was late to react to Apple's entry into the high-end of the market. It has refocused its business to make smartphones using Google's Android platform, but has dropped to No. 9 in global cellphone rankings from No. 4 just a few years ago."