Sony Ericsson awakens Android unit

Sony Ericsson on Tuesday showed off its first handset to be powered by the Google-backed Android mobile operating system.

The X10 is the latest addition to the handset vendor’s Xperia portfolio and will be the flagship model in a family of phones coming to market during the first half of 2010.

Like a number of other manufacturers experimenting with Android, the X10 will feature Sony Ericsson’s own user interface, known as UX, which shoves certain features to the forefront. In this case its Timescape, which streams all communications with one contact together in one place regardless of the medium; and Mediascape, which streams music, photos and videos from contacts and artists via Sony Ericsson’s content shop/app store, PlayNow. However, the device will also offer a link to the generic Android Market as well as its own storefront.

The X10 is 3G capable with wifi, Bluetooth and A-GPS, and sports an 8.1 megapixel camera and a WVGA four inch wide screen.

Bert Nordberg, president of Sony Ericsson said: “The X10 and the family of phones launching in the first half of 2010 underpin our commitment to an open and multi-platform strategy that maximises choice for the consumer and delivers the best possible consumer experience. The reaction from our global operator partners to the X10 has been extremely positive and we will be rolling out across the world including Japan from the first half of 2010.”

Recently, Sony-Ericsson watched its net loss for the third quarter increase to €164m, compared to a loss of €25m in the same period last year. Sales dropped to €1.6bn for the three month period, down from €2.8bn in 2008, while unit shipments were down 45 per cent year on year to 14.1 million, giving it a market share of about 5 per cent.

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