To be fair, things have… changed a bit since we heard back in November that the Xperia handset line would be getting Ice Cream Sandwich by March of 2012. Specifically, Sony Ericsson is no more, and it’s up to Sony Mobile alone to continue the torch carrying. At any rate, the outfit has made clear today that it’ll be mid-April at the earliest before any of the Xperia smartphones see an Android 4.0 update, with the Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V and Xperia Ray amongst the first on deck. We’re told that the updates will start hitting that trio in the middle of next month, with every last owner to be gifted in the four to six weeks following. Beyond that, the Xperia Play, Xperia Neo, Xperia Mini, Xperia Mini Pro, Xperia Pro and Xperia Active will start seeing ICS “from the end of May / early June.” You know, pretty much right when Android 5.0 will be unveiled.
While your Xperia might not have gotten its planned Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade just yet, Sony’s come clean on its first phone to wield Google’s latest straight from the factory: the Xperia Neo L. Appearing on the company’s Chinese website, we wouldn’t expect a redux of the mostly 2011 hardware to go on a world tour anytime soon. Those buying will be treated to a 4-inch FWVGA (854 x 480) screen that’s a smidge bigger than the original yet still carries a 1GHz worth of Snapdragon coupled to 512MB of RAM. Unlike the archetype, though, the camera gets downgraded to a 5 megapixels in the rear while retaining the same VGA shooter in the front. Naturally there’s no word on price or availability, but at least for diehard fanboys can have their ice cream and eat it too.
More than half of America’s married couples will tell you, breaking up is hard. Hard and expensive. After living in denial, dodging rumors and eventually coming to terms with the inevitable, Sony has finally taken over Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson’s 50-percent stake in the pair’s former joint venture, a move that was earlier reported to have cost €1.05 billion ($1.37 billion) to complete. The now fully Sony owned Sony Ericsson will be renamed Sony Mobile Communications, though a few of the outfit’s already announced children are keeping their papa’s name.
Sony and Ericsson’s decade-long partnership may have humbled Kim Kardashian, but dwindling market share and an over-reliance on feature phones signalled the end of the affair. Ericsson will have until “mid 2012″ to clear its things from the spare room before the electronics giant begins a new solo venture. The revitalized enterprise will leverage its parent company’s brand strength, R&D and content (since it owns a massive chunk of the entertainment industry) and in comments made to Times of India, company Vice President Kristian Tear said there would be a “fierce” advertising push to restore the company’s reputation as a major player worldwide — before taking a Pilates class to try and fit back into its bachelor pad.
The Ice Cream Sandwich announcements keep dribbling in this morning, with the latest morsel coming from Sony Ericsson Italy. In a Facebook post published last week, the company’s Italian outpost confirmed that its Xperia line will receive an upgrade to Android 4.0 sometime next year. Head of marketing Maurizio de Palma clarified this declaration in a follow-up post, adding that the update should “arrive by March.” That’s certainly more specific than anything the company has announced thus far, though we’ll obviously have to wait and see whether this timeline holds up.
Last month, Sony (no more Sony Ericsson, huhue…) hinted, via Facebook, that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich would soon be making its way to its entire lineup of Xperia handsets. Today, this forthcoming upgrade has become officially official, though details remain equally fuzzy. “We can today confirm that we plan to upgrade the entire 2011 Xperia portfolio to the next version of Android known as Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich,” the company wrote in a blog post this morning. “We are working on merging our current Xperia experience with the new features in Android 4.0.” The update will encompass all Xperia Arc, Play and Pro handsets, as well as the company’s Live with Walkman device, though we’ll have to wait a little longer for details on release and availability.
Hello, PlayStation Certification! Looks like the Xperia Play is getting a bit of company in Japan, where Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Arc and Acro are getting that coveted seal of approval. Updates are actually rolling out across a number of SE phones on NTT DoCoMo, enabling dozens upon dozens of new games to be tailored (and available) for the Arc and Acro in particular. Hit the source link for the official word, and if you aren’t camped out in the Land of the Rising Sun, hang tight — we get the feeling Sony proper is going to be pushing this initiative a lot harder than it has been thus far.
Sony is getting tired of sitting idly in sixth place in the battle for cellphone supremacy. Sure, there have been a few noteworthy devices from the company’s joint venture with Ericsson (i.e. the Arc), but for the most part it has struggled since its inception in 2001 to run with the alpha dogs. The Japanese manufacturer’s new strategy involves buying out Ericsson’s stake in the company and having its tablet, smartphone and handheld gaming units work closely together to develop future products.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a deal for the Stockholm company’s half of the venture is nearing completion. Some difficulties remain, such as properly valuing the company and settling on a price for Ericsson’s roughly $1.3 to $1.7 billion worth of mobile technology patents, but a deal is expected to be reached sooner rather than later. And maybe, just maybe, the new found flexibility will allow Sony handsets to keep pace with the Samsungs and Apples of the world.
Current Sony Ericsson CEO Bert Nordberg wasn’t leading the company back when Apple introduced the first iPhone in 2007, but he still has some opinions about how it should have reacted to the phone’s debut.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal today, Nordberg said, “it’s safe to say that Sony Ericsson should have taken the iPhone more seriously when it arrived in 2007.” He has nothing but praise for the company’s commitment to Android, however, saying that “our Android strategy has been successful and the best choice we could have made,” and that he “wouldn’t feel comfortable investing in a platform that isn’t as good as the one that we currently use.”
That last bit was in response to a question about Windows Phone, and it may sound like a complete slam if not for the fact that he went on to admit he is “quite curious” it. Exactly what that means isn’t clear, but it sounds like the door still at least isn’t completely shut for the OS it once toyed around with. Hit the source link below for the full interview.