Sony Ericsson logo removal signals the beginning of the end

Back in October Sony coughed up over a billion Euros to buy out its mobile partner of 10 years, Ericsson. And whilst there's still been nothing official as to what may become of the brand Sony Ericsson, little clues are seeping out left, right and centre indicating that it could be the end as we know it.

Not of the world, you understand - but of the two words sitting together, side-by-side. The first clue is quite a biggie, if somewhat unsubstantiated. Mobile industry analyst Ben Wood has tweeted a picture of the Sony Ericsson Hammersmith HQ complete with scrubbed logo from exterior. So either it has come down for a Christmas clean, or we're going to see something new there soon. Something, we'd hazard a guess, that doesn't include any words beginning with a big E.

The next clue comes by the way of a device itself. A leaked Sony handset. Yes, Sony - not Sony Ericsson. The Sony Xperia Nyphon is said to be packing a 1GHz dual-core U8500 processor with 1GB of RAM, a 4-inch qHD display, an 8-megapixel Exmor R camera and 16GB of storage. Launching with Gingerbread, it will apparently get an Ice Cream Sandwich update soon after launch - whenever that may be.

It's the Sony-alone branding which is the most interesting aspect though. This isn't the only leaky Sony handset at the moment - the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc HD is ramping up interest on the rumour mill rounds as of late but is still carrying the dual branding.

The full branding change is expected to be complete by mid-2012. It will be interesting to see how Sony sets up for CES and MWC in the new year.