Sony is close to a deal to buy out Ericsson and end the decade-long Sony Ericsson partnership, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The paper's website says that Sony wants to bring the smartphone manufacturing in-house and align it more closely with its tablet and gaming divisions.
Ericsson, which was a mobile manufacturer in its own right before joining forces with Sony in 2001, currently owns 50 per cent of the Sony Ericsson company.
Sony Ericsson is currently the sixth biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world and has struggled in recent years to emulate the success of the pre-iPhone Cybershot and Walkman phone halcyon days.
A rare success came with the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Android phone, which earned a four-and-a-half-star rating on TechRadar.
Sony is thought to have made numerous attempts to acquire full control of the company in recent years, but this effort is seen as its best opportunity yet.
Both companies have, so far declined to comment on the report.
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