Sony Ericsson details first phone with Windows Mobile

Sony Ericsson joins HTC, Motorola, Palm, Samsung and others selling phones that use Windows Mobile

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB's first Windows Mobile device, to appear in the second half of 2008, will be called Xperia X1.

An arc slider device that will draw obvious touch-screen comparisons to Apple's iPhone, the new X1 will also have a full QWERTY keyboard.

Sony Ericsson made the announcement yesterday at Mobile World Congress 2008 in Barcelona, Spain. The company also announced two new additions to its Cyber-shot line of phones. Sony Ericsson sold more than 100 million handsets in 2007.

Xperia is the first brand to come completely from within Sony Ericcson, which is a joint venture of Sony and LM Ericsson Telephone Company that was formed in 2001, according to the company.

Pricing was not announced, but Sony Ericsson released specifications of the new X1. At 4.3 by 0.7 by 2.1 inches, it weighs 5.1 oz. and features a 3-in. wide VGA display.

It will support the HSDPA/HSUPA and Wi-Fi standards, as well as slower GSM and EDGE networks.

A 3.2-megapixel camera and features of Windows Mobile are included, such as Outlook Mobile for e-mail and Office Mobile for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Internet Explorer Mobile.

Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, said the X1 announcement is "interesting" because it will extends Microsoft's presence in Europe and because it indicates that Sony Ericsson may not want to stick with its own user interface known as UIQ, which runs on top of the Symbian operating sytem.

"This may be a trial balloon by Sony Ericsson to see if the Windows Mobile path is a way for it to exit the UIQ," he said. He suggested it might be a step toward Sony Ericsson's showing an Android-based device soon. Android is the mobile platform from Google.

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Matt Hamblen

Computerworld
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