Kolkata: Sony which has decided on phasing out feature phones from its portfolio last year, has finalized a timeline of September 2012 to focus only on smartphones with touch screens.

"We will phase out the feature phones as a conscious global strategy by September. We will introduce smartphones only as the segment is growing rapidly," Sony Mobile Communications India managing director P Balaji said.

Speaking on the sidelines of launch of new Xperia models, he said introduction of new models will be only in the touchscreen category. Ninety percent of the Indian 150 million handset market are feature phones. Feature phones are basic phones.

"Though, in volume terms it is 10 percent of the domestic market, but in value terms it will be 40-45 percent,” Balaji said.

There are six to seven feature phone models under the Sony Ericssion brand, he said. Asked about phasing out of the Ericssion brand, Balaji said the models which were launched before the parting of ways would continue under the dual Sony Ericssion brand as long as the models were not phased out.

Sony Corp had bought out Ericssion's 50 percent stake at Euro 1.5 billion in October last year.

Currently, there were 8 to 10 models, including both feature and smartphones under the Sony Ericssion brand. Balaji said Sony would launch new smartphones under Xperia on the Android platform. The 4G LTE handset launched in Barcelona was in the same brand.

He did not give any timeline when the 4G or LTE handset would be introduced in India.

(Agencies)

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