Sony Ericsson has yet to make this public, but we've learned that the flagging handset maker has caved once more to the pressures of the modern phone market place. If you'll recall, 450 employees were nixed from the company's payrolls in September of last year, and now the entire Research Triangle Park facility is being shuttered. In an internal announcement made this morning, SE is fixing to close four total sites: RTP in North Carolina, a smaller Miami facility and operations in Kista (Sweden) and Chennai. All told, 2,000 employees will be trimmed, with severance packages being offered to those who qualify. As of now, the departing individuals have yet to be chosen, with employees in RTP given the opportunity to apply for jobs elsewhere (likely in Atlanta or California). We're told that the cuts will happen "in stages," with project teams being assembled as we speak to work out the logistics. Frankly, we aren't as shocked as we are saddened to hear the news -- SE has refused to keep pace with the other handset makers, and its decision to wait until next year to ship an Android device is indicative of the choices that have kept it in the shadows these past few years. Here's hoping this restructuring effort actually gets things headed in the right direction.

Update: And it's official. SE will also be shutting down small offices in Seattle and San Diego, with its North American headquarters shifting from RTP to Atlanta and its research and development operation transitioning from RTP to Redwood Shores, California.