S Ericsson on X1 and PS Ph
Sony Ericsson chief Hideki Komiyama today said that his company had made several key mistakes that have contributed to the company's rapid decline in market share. Speaking to FT, the executive now says that the XPERIA X1, once intended as a flagship that would rival the iPhone, is one of these. The full touchscreen Windows Mobile phone was "a kind of experiment" and is no longer expected to carry Sony Ericsson's high-end phone business.
Sony Ericsson Idou
Continuing its introductions, Sony Ericsson provided an early glance at the Idou, its second-ever full touchscreen phone. The handset will be one of the firm's first to be based on pure Symbian instead of UIQ and will use a custom touch interface with an emphasis on media playback. Appropriately, it will also have a 3.5-inch, 16:9 ratio display and appears to rely solely on the screen for keyboard input. Sony Ericsson can also claim to be the first with a 12-megapixel camera onboard a phone and will give the device both a xenon flash and a retractable lens cover.
Sony Ericsson Q4 2008
Sony Ericsson finished its week on a low note with word of significant declines in the last quarter of 2008. The cellphone maker reports having shipped 24.2 million phones in the three-month span, a 6.2 percent drop versus the summer and a 27.3 percent plunge versus the same period a year ago. Its phone shipments for the year also registered a decline and fell to 96.6 million phones for all of 2008 compared to 103.4 million in 2007.
UIQ today said it would file for bankruptcy, effectively ending the mobile operating system's role in the cellphone market. The move follows six months of job cutbacks and is directly credited to the effective abandonment of the platform by supporters Motorola and Sony Ericsson, both of whom have joined the Symbian Foundation and are more likely to use this than the related but separate UIQ software for future cellphones.
Open Handset Adds 14
The Open Handset Alliance today said it has added 14 new members to its group in a move that will bolster support for Google's new Android operating system. The new roster includes phone manufacturers such as ASUS, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba as well as prominent chipmakers like ARM and Atheros as well as carriers Softbank and Vodafone. GPS device maker Garmin is also included in the list.
Moto Cancels RAZR3
Motorola is bringing its current plans for its iconic RAZR line to an end, according to a Russian claim. Accompanied by a photo of the prototype in question, the tip asserts that Motorola has shelved a device codenamed the Ruby that would likely have been titled the RAZR3. Reasons for the move are unclear, though the phone has been based on the Symbian-related UIQ interface where Motorola now plans to focus on Android and Windows Mobile as part of its bid to recover its mobile phone business, effectively dooming the current choice of operating system.
S E Xperia X1 US Launch
Sony Ericsson today finally detailed the US release of the Xperia X1, its first full touchscreen smartphone and also its first Windows Mobile phone. Rather than tie the phone to AT&T, the cellphone maker instead says the X1 will sell through its Sony Style website as an unlocked device for $800. The move lets users pick AT&T to gain full access to the phone's HSPA-based 3G or T-Mobile if they prefer the carrier and are willing to limit their data to EDGE. It also allows unrestricted apps and the ability to use SIM cards from foreign carriers.
UIQ employees on dismissal
Cell phone makers Motorola's and Sony Ericsson's recent decision to drop the UIQ-developed platform from its future products has left the software-development company in an uncertain position. On Thursday, UIQ Technology's 270 employees were put on notice of dismissal, according to a Friday report. Sony Ericsson will continue to fund the company on a monthly basis to allow it to consider its future options during this transitional period. It is not known how long Sony Ericsson's funding will remain in place, and Motorola, UIQ's other shareholder, is not involved in the plan.
S Ericsson says UIQ Dead
The UIQ variant of Symbian is on its way out, according to comments made by company executive Patrick Olson at the Symbian Smartphone show earlier this week and transcribed by AAS. The official says the mobile operating system "didn't make it" and characterizes it as an offshoot with a definite end, effectively pointing to the end of the platform as a whole.
Moto Bets on Android
Motorola's investment in phones based on Google's Android will be a heavy one, says a reported source for TechCrunch. The American company has just 50 staffers refining Android for future phones but is said by a potential recruit to be swelling its ranks to include a full 350 team members and thus making a serious commitment to the open-source platform, which only just got its start this month with formal news of HTC's T-Mobile G1.
Linux Mobile OS to grow
Market research company ABI Research says in a new report that a Linux-based mobile operating system will find its way into in almost one out of every five mid- to high-end cellular phones by 2013. The study cites efforts by the LiMo Foundation, Google's marketing of its Android OS, as well as Nokia's Maemo and Trolltech purchases as some of the reasons the open-source OS system will grow. ABI's findings also conclude that despite the added cost of hardware necessary to support open-source operating systems, the move will offer better value because of the greater number of supported applications.
UIQ v3.3 update
UIQ on Thursday announced the latest version of its user interface, v3.3, which the company hopes will appeal to the mass market of mobile phone users. One way UIQ hopes to accomplish this is by making v3.3 able to run on slower processors than before, bringing it to lower-priced phones. The default browser for v3.3 will be Opera Mobile 9.5, providing users with desktop-like web browsing, Opera Widgets and UIQ Widget Dashboard support.
SlingPlayer Mobile for UIQ
Sling Media on Thursday said it would expand SlingPlayer Mobile to add support for phones running the UIQ operating system. The new version will allow some Sony-Ericsson and Motorola phones to stream and remotely control Slingbox devices at home whenever the device is connected to either a 3G or Wi-Fi network. The initial lineup will include the P1i (pictured) and P990i smartphones, the M600i, as well as the W950i and W960i Walkman phones. Motorola's RIZR Z8 is also included, Sling said. The updated version of the software will be available in the summer and will sell for $30 to first-time users but will also be downloadable for free for existing owners.