Sony may announce OnLive or Gaikai buy-out at E3 next week
Sony is rumored to be in deep-level talks to buy out a well-known cloud gaming company, MCV learned, though exactly which one isn't known. The official announcement is expected to be made at the E3 gaming show next week, according to earlier reports. The deal "is close to being signed," according to MCV's source, who isn't being identified.
Xperia Play gets a number of bug fixes, video autofocus, more
Verizon has just detailed an over-the-air update that it has began rolling out for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone. Version 4.0.2.E.0.57 brings with it Android 2.3.4 and its native changes, along with some of Verizon's own customizations. For example, users will now get the Verizon Wireless Video on Demand app preloaded, while VZ Navigator is updated with new 3D maps.
Hirai to unveil One Sony strategy in next week
Sony in a brief message called for a corporate strategy meeting on April 12 in which it would outline the company's new direction for the media. Details were short, but it would involve just-instated CEO Kaz Hirai. Most expect the discussion to center around Hirai's definition of a "One Sony" strategy meant to eliminate the 'silos' that have kept Sony divisions either isolated or even competing against each other.
Thom Gruhler becomes Windows Phone marketing VP
Microsoft hoped to turn around its mobile strategy on Monday with word it had hired Thom Gruhler to become its Corporate VP of Windows Phone Marketing. He was leaving a position as the managing partner for technology at major ad agency McCann Worldgroup. As part of his history, he's best known for running the team that developed Verizon's "can you hear me now?" TV ads as well as work with Sony Ericsson.
Sony Tablet P gets unique tie in and root access
Sony's Tablet P went on sale earlier this week and now has a unique bundle as well as full access. An AT&T deal gives both the dual-screened Android 3.2 tablet and an Xperia Play for $300. While a discount on getting them separately, it does require two-year contracts for both devices.
Ericsson cobranding starts to be phased out
Last week, Sony
took complete control of its former joint venture with Ericsson. Sony has already begun to phase out the Ericsson name from its mobile products branding. Its first step has been to redirect online viewers from the Sony Ericsson site to the company's SonyMobile web portal.
Sony now controls phone strategy entirel
Sony at early Thursday Japanese time formally completed its buyout of Ericsson's stake in Sony Ericsson. The move now leaves Sony Mobile Communications as a completely Sony-owned company. Bert Nordberg would still be CEO of the mobile group, which it revealed had about 100 million euros ($130.3 million) in stated working capital.
HTC offers preview of Sense skin for Sensations
HTC will bring what it calls an "early access preview" of Android 4.0 and related updates to its Sensation and Sensation XE phones in Europe. According to The Verge, the customization will differ from previous versions of Sense, and initially be offered only to those enrolled in its Elevate beta program. The update is promised to be coming to the handsets in the coming days.
HTC said aiming for PlayStation Cert in 2012
HTC might be the first company outside of Sony itself to get its devices PlayStation certified. A rumor from Pocket-lint sources had them being cleared to use PS1 and PlayStation Suite-specific games sometime this year. The approval would come in the second half of the year, likely ruling out a Mobile World Congress mention in two weeks' time.
Sony free to pursue Sony-only branding
The European Union has approved Sony’s acquisition of Ericsson’s stake in their smartphone enterprise. The approval was granted on January 26 and gives the company the green light to forge ahead with its Sony-only smartphone branding, design and development. Sony announced it was moving to buyout Ericsson’s holdings in late October at a cost of $1.4 billion.
ABI says iPhone 4S rise led to Android loss
Apple's record iPhone sales have led to Android shrinking for the first time in its over three-year history, ABI Research estimated Friday. Operating on the belief that next-closest Samsung shipped 33 million smartphones, it had Android's collective share drop from 52.5 percent in the summer to 47 percent this fall. Apart from the iPhone 4S' launch effect, Android had 'sagging midsection' where LG, Motorola, and Sony had been fighting just to become profitable.
IHS iSuppli and Strat Analytics show Apple shift
Separate IHS iSuppli and Strategy Analytics studies Friday have backed Apple's rapid return to the top of the smartphone space in the fall. Determining that Samsung had shipped 36 million smartphones, slightly higher than Samsung's preliminary estimates, IHS iSuppli put Apple's 37 million iPhones just on top. Although Samsung nearly quadrupled the amount of smartphones it shipped and moved more year-long, Apple's higher starting point meant it could just double its yearly shipments to stay competitive.
Sony may sweep Android 4 through tablets, phones
Sony's promised Android 4.0 update for tablets could be more comprehensive if a news tip reflects reality. Both the Tablet S and Tablet P were expected by The Verge to get the OS update in the spring. The two would get some "really cool unique bits" along with the underlying speed and interface changes, a source said, although what those were hadn't been mentioned.
Sony Xperia ion to cost $570 SIM-free, unlocked
The Xperia ion introduced at CES has just got its first price tag, thanks to Negri Electronics. The third-party outfit is listing an unlocked device for just short of $570. The pre-order doesn't include a shipping date, however.
Sony Ericsson announces large loss, plans for 2012
Sony Ericsson has reported a $318 million loss for Q4. The partnership, which is rapidly coming to the end of its life following Sony’s acquisition of Ericsson’s stake, has blamed a range of factors for the poor result. Along with restructuring charges, CEO Bert Nordberg also blamed intense competition in the smartphone space and price erosion as factors in the outcome.
Sony Windows Phone prototype leaks online
New photos shared unusually by NokiaWP have revealed what could be a Sony Ericsson handset running Windows Phone. Clearly branded as a prototype, the phone may be an upcoming device or an old, abandoned project, however. The last leak of a reported Sony Ericsson WP7 phone showed off a QWERTY slider, so this could be an old prototype, though its size could hide a sliding hardware keyboard.
Sony Ericsson Pepper may be Xperia neo V sequel
One of Sony Ericsson's rarely mentioned other 2012 smartphones was leaked in earnest on Saturday with photos and detailse. The MT27i, or Pepper, is expected by XperiaBlog to be a direct sequel to the Xperia neo V with a much more squared-off look that's consistent with the Nozomi and likely other models. Performance may be the biggest leap, as it should jump from its single-core chip to a dual-core 1GHz chip, most likely the ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500.
Sony Ericsson Germany teases new Xperia handset
Sony Ericsson Germany is teasing an upcoming Xperia smartphone it will bring to CES through its Facebook page in Germany. Unlike the already expected Nozomi, this phone has an off-center rear camera, so there could be two new Xperias getting official reveals in Las Vegas next week. The new handset could be the LT28at leaked earlier through a Bluetooth SIG listing.
Sony Ericsson Nozomi gets early pics, benchmarks
The Sony Ericsson Nozomi smartphone that's expected to be made official at CES has been benchmarked and the results shared by ITProPortal. The test confirmed some specs of the device, including its 720x1280 touchscreen and dual-core, 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. A 12-megapixel camera is also confirmed, as is 1GB of RAM and 8GB of integrated storage space.
Sony Ericsson hints at Xperia phone revamp
Sony Ericsson posted a clearer teaser of its smartphone plans for CES. Posting what could be small photos of the device itself, it suggested a very strong camera photos with a dedicated button and HD video recording. A look at the camera app shows a familiar interface relative to earlier Sony Ericsson Android phones like the Xperia arc.
StatCounter shows odd uptick in Symbian share
December StatCounter data has shown an unusual resurgence in Symbian on the web at the very end of 2011. Having dipped under 30 percent in October, Nokia's platform not only bounced back but nearly matched its high for the year at just over 33.5 percent in December. Most of the drop appeared to come at the expense of iOS, which shed a point and a half to reach 22.6 percent.
USPTO filing hints at future branding
Sony Ericsson has filed to establish trademark protection for the term "Xperia ION", hinting at the company's upcoming branding. Although the US Patent and Trademark Office documents do not shed light on a specific product, the filing was tied to the cellphone market and is expected to be used for one of the company's flagship devices.
OnLive Player goes to Xperia Play
OnLive on Thursday night brought its live play Android app (free, Android Market) to Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play. The already gaming-oriented phone can stream games and get full access to the physical gamepad, making it a much better fit for console and general action games. Gamers can now skip playing the touch-optimized adaptations if they prefer the hardware feel.
Sony Ericsson LT28at gets details and test shots
Sony Ericsson's codenamed LT28at phone, possibly a cousin of the Nozomi, has had some of its details escape through a Bluetooth SIG listing and photos. The phone will center on a 4.55-inch, 720p screen but also carry one of the first 13-megapixel cameras on a phone in the US. It should run on both HSPA and LTE, a strong sign that it's likely destined for AT&T or at the least a carrier like Rogers in Canada.
Sony Ericsson to begin Android 4 updates in March
Sony Ericsson just revealed it will begin updating the software on its 2011 Xperia smartphones to Android 4.0 by the end of March and into April. These will include the Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V, and Xperia ray. About a month after that, the Xperia arc, Xperia Play, Xperia neo, Xperia mini and mini pro, Xperia pro, Xperia active, and Live with Walkman will get the same update.
Apple and Google work on iOS and Android wearables
Both Apple and Google are working on wearable devices that would be be companions to or even replacements for their smartphone platforms. Leaks from inside Apple claimed to the New York Times that a "very small group" of those on its campus were using prototypes that could send information back to an iPhone or other device. One of the more exotic ideas was a supposed curved-glass iPod that would use Siri for some of its commands.
Sony Xperia Nyphon first Sony-only branded device
Following Sony’s buyout of the Ericsson’s stake ending their ten-year partnership, the Sony Ericsson logo has been removed from their Hammersmith, England headquarters. Along with the spotting of the first leaked Sony-only branded handset, the Xperia Nyphon (pictured below), it appears the Sony is well into the transition phase. The re-branding exercise is expected to be complete by mid-2012.
Alpha Android 4 ROM has very limited functions
Sony Ericsson has, for the first time in its history, publicly released an alpha ROM of firmware for its phones. Android 4.0.1 for the Xperia arc, Xperia neo V, and Xperia ray is meant for experienced developers who know it might not work as an everyday OS. Some major features, such as phone calls and data, don't work at all.
Gaming phone said to be reworked
Sony Ericsson is reportedly reworking its Xperia Play gaming handset, after the original version is believed to have achieved lackluster sales numbers earlier in the year. The second-generation model is said to be named "Xperia Play 4G," suggesting a 4G radio will be one of the primary upgrades, however further details remain unclear.
Sony Ericsson Nozomi may be called Xperia Arc HD
Sony Ericsson's upcoming flagship phone, the Nozomi, has now been spotted once more in photos shared by GSM Arena. It is expected to be officially launched at CES, where it will likely carry a different name, likely to be Xperia Arc HD. The photos reveal that the battery probably isn't user-removable and that it uses a micro SIM card slot like the iPhone 4S or the Motorola Droid RAZR.
HP to open-source webOS code
HP at its all-hands meeting Friday said it was open-sourcing webOS. Both the Enyo app framework and the OS itself would be published under a license. The company expected to "continue to be active" in making and supporting webOS, but mobile hardware would have to come from others.
Phone features Playstation inspired gamepad
Regional carrier C Spire is now offering the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone. Its version is similar to that on Verizon and centers on a slide-out gamepad to let it play ports of older PlayStation games and newer titles. It continues to center on a four-inch, 480x854 display and a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon.
Sony Ericsson NA President teases details
Sony Ericsson's North America President Paul Hamnett in an interview Monday (video below) teased plans for smartphones at CES. Although the full integration with Sony wouldn't show for some time, he hinted that there would be "signs by CES" in January of what Sony's complete control would mean. Among those would include PlayStation certification on "most" of Sony's phones in the future.
Sony Ericsson to just be Sony in several months
Sony Ericsson executive marketing VP Kristian Tear confirmed a roadmap for when the company's separation from Ericsson would be visible to the public. He told The Times of India to expect smartphones branded just under Sony's name by sometime in mid-2012. It would lead to more spending on marketing to get the name change out, but the company now expected to take advantage of Sony's ownership to get more than it could in the earlier 50-50 deal.
Limited LG and Box offer good until March 31
Cloud content storage provider Box has detailed another smartphone partnership. LG will be offering free lifetime 50GB Box Personal accounts to its Android phone and tablet owners. The time-limited promo is available for all owners of devices running Android 2.1 or higher.
Sony Ericsson Xperias to get 50GB of Box storage
Sony Ericsson early this week revealed that Xperia owners will get the same 50GB of cloud storage space as their iOS counterparts. It has now clarified that announcement, stating that the Box for Android mobile app isn't quite ready for release. Sony Ericsson would only say the company is in the middle of finalizing the promotion and that it's coming soon.
Software update available for 2011 phones
Sony Ericsson has announced that its recent software updates for 2011 Xperia handsets bring support for WebGL. The company claims to be the first to support the WebGL standard in the stock Android browser, enabling users to take advantage of interactive 3D graphics without switching to third-party apps.
Sony Ericsson to shut down Sync service Dec. 29
Sony Ericsson is phasing out its Sony Ericsson Sync service in favor of Google Sync. It explained that the older service was meant for an older generation of phones. The company instead suggested that users switch over to Android's Google Sync, or alternatives such as Plaxo and UNYK.
LG, Sony Ericsson reveal more Android 4 info
LG on its Facebook page revealed which of its smartphones will be the first to get an official update to Android 4.0. They include the Optimus 2X and Optimus Black, the Optimus 3D, and the Optimus LTE. More details on the upgrade, including a schedule, will be announced in December. LG will also evaluate other smartphones in time.
Tech fans need to accept Apple's position in tech
Drawing attention to something Apple is doing wrong certainly isn't new, and arguably something that's needed to keep the company honest. Some of this has always come from those who are predisposed to avoid anything Apple makes. But we've lately seen a strain of anti-Apple rhetoric that's not just opposed, but produces a kind of anti-exceptionalist myth where everything bad in tech is Apple's fault: we like to call them Only Apple Does Wrong advocates. It's a trend that needs to stop, and the sooner it does, the better for intelligent tech fans of all stripes.
Sony Ericsson Nypon to get Android 4, SE CPU
Word of an upcoming handset from Sony Ericsson running on Android 4.0 was shared on Wednesday by Recombu. Dubbed the Nypon, it also goes by the LT22i model number. The silent videos below also show Sony Ericsson making a rare break from Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor and instead use ST-Ericsson's dual-core, 1GHz NovaThor U8500.
Verizon outlines Thanksgiving device deals
Verizon Wireless has just brought out holiday pricing and a number of new devices in time for Thanksgiving and the Black Friday holiday rish. It will get a new, red HTC Droid Incredible 2 and offer Motorola's 4G LTE-equipped Motorola Xoom tablet for $200 on contract. Both will be available online on November 24, 25, and 28, and in-store on November 25 only. The phone will be free with a new two-year contract, but only after a $50 mail-in rebate. The Xoom LTE will require a two-year contract with at least a $30 monthly plan for 2GB of data.
Sony Ericsson Nozomi will be unveiled at CES?
The leaked Sony Ericsson Xperia HD, sometimes known as the Nozomi, may be officially unveiled at the CES expo on January 10, a source told PhoneArena. The unnamed informant also said the purportedly leaked image of the handset was actually that of a different, lower-spec model, though didn't provide any more details. Nozomi is known to be just a codename.
Graphics Properties Holdings claims video tech
The company resulting from the liquidation of once-giant workstation developer Silicon Graphics, Graphics Properties Holdings, hoped to profit from the work of the smartphone and TV industries after it quietly filed an International Trade Commission dispute late this week against key companies. It alleges that Apple, HTC, LG, RIM, Samsung, Sony, and Sony Ericsson are violating three patents for video technology. The patents appear to cover obvious technology, including floating point math to render the image, parcel instruction processing, and even widescreen LCD displays.
Sony Ericsson Vscreens shares from Android to all
Sony Ericsson on Friday brought out a beta app that lets an Android device share its media on most bigger screens. Vscreens requires an Android app (Market) but can form a bond to share media with any device on the local Wi-Fi network by scanning a QR code on the screen. The link works on any modern browser and will show photos and videos on the target browser, even on iOS devices or the PS3.
Gametel controller clamps onto Android phones
Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play is the only smartphone with a built-in gamepad, but a company called Fructel is releasing an accessory that will connect to any Android-powered smartphone. Called Gametel, it uses clamps and a rubberized bumper to attach to the side of a handset for landscape-oriented gaming. It sends signals over Bluetooth, but lacks an analog joystick, opting for a directional pad instead.
Xperia arc S, neo V now shipping in the US
Sony Ericsson on Tuesday began offering its Xperia arc S and Xperia neo V smartphones in the US as unlocked devices. The former costs $450 while the latter is priced at $350. The arc S gets a 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor and runs on Android 2.3.
Cellphone study polls 4,500 users in 9 countries
A new study performed by Survey Sampling made the unusual claim that 95 percent of the people around the world owned a cellphone. The survey spanned nine countries, but only about 4,500 consumers who answered questions online. From this sampling group, 42 percent owned smartphones, with the rest of them planning to buy a smartphone next.
Sony Ericsson promises Android 4 for 2011 phones
Sony Ericsson made a pledge Tuesday that all of its 2011 Xperia phones, and the Live with Walkman, would be getting Android 4.0. The company planned to adapt its custom interface to the new OS regardless of size, ranging from the Xperia minis through to the Xperia arc S. It didn't yet have timing.
Gartner shows Android now majority of smartphones
Android now represents the clear majority of smartphones worldwide, Gartner found Tuesday. It had more than doubled its share in the summer versus last year to hit 52.5 percent, leaving all other platforms combined in the minority. Both Nokia's Symbian and Apple's iPhone had declined in share over the summer to 16.9 percent and 15 percent each, although Nokia's rapid collapse in shipments and the known slingshot effect as customers waited for the iPhone 4S meant that Apple would likely take second place in the fall.