Sony Ericsson delays Android update

Smartphones will get Android version 2.1 starting at the end of October

Sony Ericsson won't start updating its Android-based Xperia X10 smartphones until the end of October, according to a Thursday blog post.

The Xperia X10, X10 mini and mini pro will be updated to Android 2.1. Today, all three models use version 1.6 of Google's operating system.

The Android upgrade will give users a better browsing experience, including adding bookmarks with web page thumbnails, and an improved virtual keyboard, which should make it easier for users to hit the correct key, according to Google. Multiple accounts can be added to a device for e-mail and contact synchronization and users can fill up to five homescreens with applications, widgets, shortcuts and folders.

The Xperia X10 will also get HD video recording with continuous auto-focus and a socialized phonebook, which automatically synchronizes pictures from Facebook and shows when contacts are online. On the X10 mini and mini pro Sony Ericsson will improve how pictures, audio, text and numbers in messages are handled.

The company plan called for the updates to become available at the end of the third quarter, according to the blog post. However, Sony Ericsson now needs a couple of more weeks to work on the software before it can be rolled out, the blog post said.

Getting phones and upgrades out before the end of September isn't just tripping up Sony Ericsson. Earlier this week, Nokia said customers that have preordered its N8 smartphone, won't get it until October.

These kinds of delays, even though not long, are never good, according to Roberta Cozza, principal analyst with Gartner Research. If the vendors can't deliver on what they have promised its better to say nothing at all, and the worst case scenario is that consumers don't want to wait and buy something else, she said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

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