Sir Howard Stringer partly blames Sony's relatively weak market share in the mobile phone business on Mother Nature and the recent riots in London and the UK.

Speaking at the London press conference, called to announce the Japanese giant's acquisition of the Ericsson part of Sony Ericsson, Sir Stringer bemoaned the troubles the company has had in the last year, while explaining why it has taken so long for it to compete with rival smartphone and software organisations:

"It's taken us quite a long time and quite a lot of patience to build the kind of infrastructure that some of our competitors over in the United States, like Apple and Microsoft, have," he said.

"And we have metamorphosed into a digital company from an analogue one in much of the last 4 years.

"When I became CEO, I was tired of executives in America saying 'Sony doesn't do digital - it's an analogue company'. There are handicaps to being an analogue company as the world is changing, so we had to change with it."

And he believes that it would be competing on an even playing field if it wasn't for acts of God, the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, and criminality:

"We would have changed more quickly if we hadn't had the Lehman shock. If we hadn't had all the various Mother Nature lethal attacks on us this year. We've had everything but toads and pestilence," he said.

"So, I think the company deserves to be commended for fighting its way through earthquakes and tsunamis. And the only factory that was burned down during the London riots was ours.

"It's hard not to take it personally after a while," he added.

Do you think Sony is playing catch up due to forces of nature, etc? Let us know in the comments below...

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