November 3, 2009

Sony Ericsson Releases Android-Based Mobile Phone

Sony Ericsson released its Xperia X10 mobile phone on Tuesday, the handset maker's first phone to run Google's Android operating system.

The X10 sports an eight-megapixel camera, touch screen, GPS and can use apps from the Android Market or Sony Ericsson's Play Now Arena.

The phone will go on sale early in the first quarter of 2010 and Sony Ericsson said it would be the first of a family of Android-based phones that it will launch over next year.

The phone's user interface was given an overhaul to help owners organize their use of sites such as Twitter, Facebook, e-mail and other messaging applications, Sony Ericsson officials said.

The X10 works with second and third generation mobile networks, including HSPA and wi-fi and it runs version 1.6 of Android.

Under the case the x10 has a 1Ghz Snapdragon processor from U.S. chip firm Qualcomm.

Sony Ericsson has reported losses in the last three quarters due to fierce competition from rivals like Apple's iPhone. The company's move toward Android-based phones is widely seen as an attempt by the handset maker to win back some market share.

But the trailing of the X10 before the key Christmas selling season may harm the prospects of its other phones such as the top- of-the-line Satio, according to some analysts.

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said she believes some consumers will think about waiting until the first quarter to get their hands on the X10 rather than get a Satio for Christmas.

"It was a difficult call to make trying not to negatively impact products like the Satio ... while at the same time announce something that will persuade consumers not to go to another brand," Milanesi said.

However, Shaun Collins, chief executive of British research firm CCS Insight, said Sony Ericsson has clarified its strategy and understands that its users no longer want megapixels and megabytes but Facebook and Twitter.

Meanwhile, other analysts like Neil Mawston from Strategy Analytics believes the X10 is a high-value smartphone that will help Sony Ericsson back on the road toward profitability.

The company has yet to release the phone's price or the countries where it will be available.


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