updated 08:30 am EST, Fri February 18, 2011
Keen to talk up deal with Verizon, renewed US push
Sony Ericsson Chief Technology Officer Jan Uddenfeldt has revealed his thoughts on Android and Sony Ericsson's plans for the immediate future in a wide-ranging interview with FierceWireless. He was most keen to talk about the new deal that Sony Ericsson has struck with Verizon to launch the Xperia Play, which runs the most recent version of Android, 2.3 Gingerbread. Sony Ericcsson had learnt its lesson about staying on a current platform. "A year ago, the awareness of the importance of being on the latest Android release wasn't in the company," Uddenfeldt said.
The Xperia Play will be the first CDMA capable phone to be launched by Sony Ericsson in the States, a market that it is keen on targeting with its newly launched range of Xperia branded Android phones. According to Uddenfeldt, Sony Ericsson worked closely with Google on bringing a more dedicated hardware gaming platform to Android. When the Xperia Play hits the market, it will come with between five and ten titles straight out of the box. The relationship with Google also helped it develop a new deal with Verizon to launch the Xperia Play on its network, although it is not a Verizon exclusive and could be launched on other carriers, including AT&T.
Uddenfeldt also discussed Sony Ericsson's move to adopt Android as its primary mobile platform, which has seen nearly twelve months pass since it last launched a Windows phone. While not ruling out Windows Phone 7, Sony Ericsson has opted for Android because of its dramatic market growth, ease of use and that its flexibility is appealing to carriers. "We haven't said 'no' to Windows," he said, although at this stage the OS was not in its immediate plans.
Further, Uddenfeldt added that Sony Ericsson is working on bringing phones to market with LTE baseband chipsets and that, "We are advanced in our product development." As part of its World Mobile Congress trade show demonstrations, it showed a prototype LTE handset in order to showcase its planned TD-LTE video and voice services it has in stall for China Mobile. Users can expect to see a Sony Ericsson device with LTE capability on the horizon.
Uddenfeldt also mentioned that Sony Ericsson is also working with Sony Japan to deliver a tablet. Like its smartphone OS strategy, any tablets released will be powered by Android.