Sony Ericsson’s October 2011 press conference, saw the joint venture between Japanese Sony and Swedish mobile giant Ericsson come to an end after a ten year partnership with Sony buying out Ericsson’s €1.05 billion share. With products still shipping with their joint branding, the question on everyone’s lips is when will the two brands part ways and what will the new products be called?

On the subject of when we'll see the split affect consumer handsets, the official line is that “the transaction is scheduled to close within Q1, 2012”. CES in January seems like a good time to start introducing the idea of an Ericsson free Sony mobile, and we'd be very surprised if we hadn't heard anything official by MWC in February, making now a pretty good time for a bit of speculation.

When it comes to the name, we're thinking Sony will continue to name their smartphone's Xperia, Sony Xperia to be precise. With a huge amount of infrastructure surrounding the Xperia name, a huge amount of the €1.05 billion buying price probably went into securing it. This is backed up by renders that were leaked earlier today (left), despite the fact it isn’t clear if the images are 100% reliable, it would definitely make sense. It also means that the Xperia sub-brand would slot into their current portfolio of sub-brands (Vaio, Bravia, Playstation, Cybershot etc.).

Down the line, Sony may also look to adopt their tablets into the Xperia brand which would make sense given the tablet line's lack of sub-branding. This departure, while marking the end of an era is also pretty exciting for Android fans everywhere. With Sony having a hand in almost every facet of consumer technology, they've never been in a better position to churn out some outstanding quality handsets with incredible gaming and multi-media integration - lets hope they do.

Sources: Sony Ericsson press office, Concept Phones