sony

A new video of the Sony Ericsson "Julie" (branded "Jolie" in the video) Windows Phone has been published to the Internet. Unfortunately, the company, now Sony Mobile, has continuously stated that they have no immediate plans for Windows Phone. Which is a shame as the handset itself doesn't look half-bad. Slap Windows Phone "Apollo" 8 on there and you could have a winning next-gen slider.

It's interesting to note that this version gives us the impression there's more than one variant of "Julie", as it's an all-black design unlike the earlier prototype we saw pictured. With "Apollo" itself, the next major Windows Phone upgrade, expected to be released later this year, we could see support from Sony Mobile should the platform maintain this steady increase with regards to market share and positive feedback from carriers.

Source: YouTube; thanks, Daniel, for the heads up!

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Whether or not Sony Mobile Communications (previously Sony-Ericsson) will commit to a Windows Phone has been a back and forth for some time now. They dipped their toe into the ecosystem back on 2010 with the "Julie" prototype which was then canceled and since then, have been open but not committed to the platform.

A recent rumor suggested that they would make a device but not till late 2012 i.e. when Windows Phone 8 "Apollo" hits--a reasonable decision in our mind. However, Phone Arena, in a meeting with Sony Mobile Communications during Mobile World Congress, managed to get a little more info from the company and it doesn't sound too positive on the prospects.

While Sony are still "open" to the idea evidently they're not too keen on it either. If you wonder "why not" Sony's answer is "Because no one really cares about WP".

Harsh words from a company struggling to turn a profit in 2011 and 2012 (they're down 20% in shipments from a year ago and lost 247m Euros, according to the BBC). While they will still push forward with Android, the prospects for a Windows Phone from them still seems slim, at least for the near future.

Of course in a mobile world dominated by Samsung, HTC, Nokia and Apple, one has to ask: Does anyone care about Sony anymore?

Source: Phone Arena; via PocketNow (Image via Phones4U)

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Take this with a heaping cup of salt, but Tweakers.net is reporting from multiple sources that Sony is planning on joining the Windows Phone camp late in 2012.

Of course there are hurdles in the way such as Sony and that whole Playstation thing, but Sony is like any other massive corporation and its departments operate independently of each other, so we wouldn't actually cite that as a reason not to. Heck, we know that back in 2010 Sony-Ericcson seemed just fine with the whole notion even going so far as to make a few prototypes for early development. Obviously if SE had no problem with the Xbox system we don't see why Sony (sans Ericsson) would either.

Still, there's no hard evidence here for this just past experience so we'll just have to keep an ear out. Should Sony though decide to make some Windows Phones, especially with waiting for WP8 that could be a very good thing for customers.

Source: Tweakers.net;Sony render by Brian (Follow Brian here on Twitter and see his work with the LG Fantasy and Nokia 900.) Thanks, Jentse H., for the heads up!

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Seems like people want Sony to make a Windows Phone even if they don't seem keen on the idea. Take these latest images being reported tonight at XDA Developers (main site) which purport to show a device that looks like an Xperia Arc S running Windows Phone 7.

Although we'll say "anything is possible" and clearly Sony was working on Windows Phone back in 2010 (e.g. "Julie" prototype), we're doubtful that this is legit. Reasons? Well obviously it is missing the three keys near the bottom: Back, Windows and Search which have been on every single Windows Phone since day one and are a hardware requirement. Sure, that "arc" near the bottom could double as those (they're buttons on Android) but we find it odd that Sony would get rid of such a defining feature, let alone modify it to such a degree by removing those icons.

Going further, we don't see evidence for a side camera button. Now in fairness, these aren't the best shots and perhaps the button is there and just really flush, but it's one more thing we see that makes us question the validity of these images.

So while we really want to see Sony enter the Windows Phone game, we're calling this one fake. Plus we'd hate to think that Sony would, pardon the pun, phone it in this badly with their first Windows Phone i.e. just recycle an Android device. But hey, we'll see what happens at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks.

Source: XDA Developers

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A few days ago we saw some new images of a Sony Ericsson Windows Phone prototype. At the time, it looked to be a device code-named "Julie", a 4" QWERTY slider that was believed to have been canceled in 2010 after SE pulled out from Windows Phone development.

NokiaWP commented that this newly imaged prototype was running Mango though we could not verify that at the time. If it were Mango or later, it could very well signify a new attempt at Sony to embrace Windows Phone.  Looking at these new images, we are confident in saying that this is the old prototype and it is not Mango. Evidence comes from the Windows Phone boot screen, which is clearly the pre-Mango era logo as well as the old Xbox LIVE and Internet Explore tiles on the Start screen.

In other words, while this would certainly be a killer device to add to our collection, we do not believe that these images reveal any new strategy by Sony to re-enter the Windows Phone market. Perhaps they still do have plans either now or in the future, but this device is clearly a 2010-era relic.

Interesting though for what might have been, eh?

Source: NokiaWP; Thanks, Juddy, for the tip

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We've seen an image or two of the old Sony Ericsson prototype Windows Phone that was canceled before. The device, code-named 'Julie',  was a qwerty-slider and looked quite tantalizing at the time. Since then, SE has jumped on the Android bandwagon while leaving the door open for Windows Phone. We thought for a moment that SE was teasing us with a new Windows Phone for CES, but alas it was more Android.

Now, two new images have leaked of a Sony Ericsson Windows Phone device. Clearly a prototype not much is known about this phone but we're taking a guess that it is just the same qwerty-slider that we've seen previously. If you look closely at the top photo, the thickness of the device and "break" midway suggests that this is a slider.

What does this all mean? Unfortunately, we don't have any evidence that SE (or just Sony going forward very soon) has any plans for a Windows Phone. But Mobile World Congress is coming up at the end of February, so who knows maybe Sony will have something to present.

The site NokiaWP, who received the photos, claim that this is running Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" which would definitely indicate active development. However, we cannot verify either claim at the moment.

Stay tuned..

Source: NokiaWP; Thanks, Juddy, for the tip!

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Look, we're not going to beat around the bush here, this post is total wild rumor-mongering, but SE asked us to guess so we are. Sony Ericsson (Netherlands) has put up a Tweet teasing a big announcement next week, presumably at CES:

"We're getting ready for some very interesting news next week...what do you think it could be?"

Normally we'd pass this off as "just another Android announcement" and it could very well be. However and perhaps it is just coincidence but we seem to have caught a theme of tiles throughout the above picture which was posted in conjunction with the aforementioned statement.

Could this mean that SE is finally on board with Windows Phone? If you recall, SE was announced as a key-launch partner for Windows Phone back in early 2010 and even had a working prototype (see above) but it was canceled at the last minute with the company turning towards Android. Back in May of this year, SE went on record as saying that they were "leaving the door open" for Windows Phone if it should start to take off. Finally, Sony has the option to port over the Sony PlayStation Suite, something they mentioned back in January, 2011.

So has that moment arrived or are we just looking too much into this?

Source: @SonyEricssonNL; Thanks, Jan Z., for the tip!

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Could Microsoft's recent domain acquisition signify a possible future collaboration between Sony Ericsson and Microsoft? It's surely debatable, but the domain names are so vague that it could cover a joint-venture between Sony itself and Microsoft (in entertainment etc.), as opposed to Sony Ericsson with Windows Phone 7. See the domains for yourself, sony-microsoft.com and microsoft-sony.com (both redirect to Bing SERPs), not really 'WP7 friendly' right?

Forum users at Neogaf discovered the domain names that were registered to Microsoft through Corporation Service Company (CSC), a corporate identity protection firm. The replies in the thread contain ideas that range from the software giant possibly taking over Sony (or vice versa), a Sony Vs Microsoft fighting game, Microsoft trolling, or -- of course -- Sony Ericsson WP7 handsets.

Sony Ericsson, once named as a key partner, had produced prototypes of a WP7 handset (with some cool concepts being designed), but the manufacturer never came to light with volume and a release. We mustn't forget that the two companies may be strong competitors in the gaming market, but Sony works with Microsoft and Windows so something could relate to the Vaio product line. Then again, these are mere domain names, Microsoft has a catalog of registrations. What do you guys think, what's most probable to come out of this should anything actually happen?

Source: Neogaf, via: WinRumors

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We previously covered leaked photos of the Sony Ericsson device being spread like wildfire, but were later confirmed (as we believed) to be of a cancelled prototype from last year prior to the Windows Phone 7 launch. Sony Ericsson wasn't at the launch party for cookies, neither have they been announced as a future OEM for the platform since it looks like the company have continued doubts.

We have now seen photos of a white version of the prototype "Julie" on a Polish forum, but this device lacks the functionality of the previously leaked handset with bootable ROM. Nice to see 16GB mentioned though and it doesn't look like a half bad phone with the keyboard reminding me much of my TV remote control. More photos after the break. 

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Sony Ericsson, once named as a key partner for Windows Phone 7 and who even had a prototype in the works, still does not have any immediate plans to use Redmond's latest OS in their phones. The one caveat is this: if the OS become big, they will jump in the game.

Speaking at Sony Ericsson’s annual Business Innovations Forum at Stanford recently, Jan Uddenfeldt, chief technology officer and head of Sony Ericsson Silicon Valley gave his latest remarks on Android and Windows Phone. According to Venture Beat:

While Android is the main focus of the company, it will still have a door open for Windows Phone 7. But it won’t be making any products if the operating system doesn’t take off, Uddenfeldt said. (It did previously manufacture phones with Windows Mobile OS.

Should we be upset? In theory, it'd be nice to have another OEM at the table, bringing some innovation and unique designs forward. However, the company to do that is not Sony Ericsson, who is doing so badly in smartphones these days, we really have nothing else to say on the matter except "good luck with Android!".

Source: Venture Beat; via MobileTechWorld

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Just as we thought those leaked pics showing off a Sony Ericsson device running Windows Phone 7 were of a canceled prototype, at least according to Eldar Murtazin of Mobile-Review. In a tweet, he reveals that yes, that quirky phone with the super old build of WP7 was back in the days when Sony was a launch partner but alas, something made them back out from the deal.

Kind of a real shame too, since Sony doesn't have that much cred with Windows Mobile/Phone users anymore, yet this device actually wowed quite a few of us. Perhaps they'll have a change of heard and we'll see this device some day.

Source: Twitter; via Pocketnow

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The future of Sony in the smartphone market has two major considerations for Windows Phone:

1) Will Sony make a Windows Phone 7 device?

2) Will Sony push their PlayStation platform on other mobile OSs?

The answer to the first is maybe. More specifically, Sony is keeping the door open to make a Windows Phone in the future, but as far as anyone knows, there's nothing immediately on the horizon. One reason for that is that some speculate Sony would not embrace a phone that makes the Xbox 360 its centerpiece. After all, this may seem to downplay Sony's own efforts in mobile gaming.

Sony though seems to be taking a mild mannered approach to the issue, suggesting that they are in fact, hardware/software neutral when it comes to their mobile PlayStation suite (prominently launching on Android). In a press event, SCE CEO Kaz Hirari stated:

We're focusing first on Android... There's also Windows [Phone], iOS and so forth, but we don't have the resources to make it compatible with everything from the start.

The statement is an echo of a recent meeting where Sony previously described the PlayStation suite as "hardware neutral". This seems to take out the argument that Sony won't ever do a Windows Phone either due to fears of competition in mobile gaming. In fact, we could imagine Sony doing a Windows Phone featuring Sony mobile gaming on it. But now the ball is in Microsoft's court: would they allow such a deal and partnership to go forward? This could be an interesting next few months and we'll try to grill Sony on this issue at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks.

Source: PocketGamer

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Two rumors love persisting in the blogosphere: Nokia wants Windows Phone 7 (despite numerous public denials) and that Sony Ericsson has either  devices planned (despite public denials)

Of course neither are true and that was reiterated today by Sony who in an interview made it clear they are sticking with Android for now. However, they also are clearly leaving the door open for a future with Microsoft but they are evidently being conservative here, waiting to see if it takes off:

We've done a lot of work with Microsoft over the years. We’ve launched a number of 6.xx products, but we made a decision not to bring a product to market in the first wave. We absolutely maintain to keep an open mind towards Windows Phone 7. We continue to engage in a relationship with Microsoft, but we haven’t made any concrete announcement about when and how we would introduce Windows Phone 7 into the portfolio.

We shouldn’t limit ourselves to one opportunity, but we aren’t yet ready to make any specific announcement about products. At this moment in time, there is clearly a galvanizing within the industry around Android as a creditable alternative to what’s out there, and we think that’s a good thing.

We're actually fine with this decision and think it makes sense. Sure, in theory having SE on board with Windows Phone 7 would be a huge sign of support but on the other...it's Sony Ericsson, the company with grand ideas and poor execution of nearly every major smartphone it has released recently.

Source: Pocket-lint

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Sony's turn at patent litigation

Sony is the latest company to file patent complaints and litigation accusing LG Electronics of patent infringement. Sony has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission claiming LG's phones and modems violate several proprietary technologies including photo-based caller ID.

And, as what's become a traditional companion to filing an ITC complaint, Sony has also filed a lawsuit against LG in U.S. District Court with similar claims.  The only thing missing is a counter suit by LG against Sony.  But it's early and there's not telling what will be filed tomorrow.

In it's complaint to the ITC Sony has requested that LG Electronics be barred from importing products with the contested technologies. This would include the LG Quantum. It is doubtful, with this form of litigation taking forever to be resolved, that Quantum supplies will dry up any time soon.

Source: Bloomberg Thanks goes out to Mike for the tip!

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Looks like Tim's skepticism regarding Sony Ericsson jumping on board Windows Phone 7 was justified, though perhaps for other reasons. While no mention of conflicting interests in gaming (Playstation vs Xbox), SE seems to be not too excited about the strict hardware requirements and lack of customization allowed on Microsoft's OS.

Sony Ericsson France CEO Pierre Perron summed up their position as thus:

With Windows 7 we run the risk of standardising our smartphones. We would be obliged to compete only on design on price, which we want to avoid.

The bit of silver lining here is that SE is in talks with Microsoft about carrying the OS, so that part is true.  But considering how unremarkable SE's offerings have been of late, we can't say we're exactly forlorn over this decision if it sticks. If it's one thing SE should avoid, is adding their "special touch to the software. Take a hint, guys.

Source: TelecomPaper; via wmpoweruser

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We’ve been hearing whispers about Sony-Ericsson considering Windows Phone 7 as a platform for quite some time now. Historically, SE has teased us with the X1a running Windows Mobile, but most of their smart-phones have run Symbian and (more lately) Android.

Now the aforementioned rumors are starting to gain volume (and perhaps credibility) as we have some YouTube video with what appears to be a slide presentation containing specifications and some basic renderings of both an X7 and X7 mini handset. The X7 is rumored to boast a 4.3" screen, 1.2GHz processor, and an 8.1 megapixel camera. The X7 mini supposedly sports a 3.5" screen, 1GHz processor, and a whopping 10.1 megapixel camera with a 3x optical zoom and a Xenon flash.

My biggest hurdle to believing these rumors is the simple fact that every Windows Phone 7 devices is an extension of Xbox Live. I would think that Sony would have to be pretty desperate to be in the smart-phone game to bite that particular bullet. Couple that with the rumors over at our frenemy site Android Central about the "PSP Phone" and the waters aren’t as clear as we would like.

What do you think? Would Sony-Ericsson actually put out a Windows Phone 7 device? Which of these would you go for? Let us know in the comments. YouTube video after the break.

Source: YouTube; via: PhoneArena

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We haven't mentioned much about the Sony Xperia X2a. The predecessor to the Xperia X1 has been making the rounds overseas and it appears to be headed to the U.S. Market.

Over at SonyStyle.com, Sony is accepting pre-orders for the X2a (only $599.99) and is noting expected availability as on or about April 29, 2010.

The X2a is a sliding keyboard styled Windows Phone running Windows Mobile 6.5. It features Sony's "tile" user interface and an 8.1mp camera. Other features include a 3.2", 800x480 screen, Qualcomm 528mhz processor, 1500mah battery, 256mb RAM, 512mb ROM, and is shipped with a 4GB MicroSD card.

From the advertisement's footnotes: "This device is 3G enabled for tri-band HSPA (850/1900/2100 MHz). Please check with your preferred carrier as some features, applications, and services are not available in all areas. GSM network with compatible radio band required. Not available in all countries. Local SIM card required to make local calls, sold separately. Check with a service provider for details."

 

So if you're on AT&T (or another compatible network) and are dying to get your hands on a Sony Windows Phone, now's your chance.

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Let's just get this out in the open: The Sony Ericsson Aspen left us wanting. Maybe we were blinded by our desire to see a new front-facing QWERTY Windows phone with a touchscreen, just like mama (erm, Palm and others) used to make. Instead what we got was a so-so keyboard with a touchscreen-optimized operating system on a 2.4-inch diagonal screen. Even those of you with small hands would find hitting the tiny icons on the screen a little ridiculous.

Still, the name of the game with Sony Ericsson this week has been "Think small" -- at least in the physical size of its phones. And that definitely was achieved here. See what we mean after the break.

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Funny we were just talking about this 2 podcasts agoMobility Digest is reporting that forum whiz Herg has successfully ported those swanky Xperia panels to Touch Pro 2 and Diamond 2 devices (specifically the Pure).

Mchapman007 at PPCGeeks has confirmed that this is working on his Verizon Touch Pro 2 as well, noting it works "perfectly" and "...The Fish panel worked for me.. Also the main screen or home panel is awesome, all of the variations that go into that panel seem to be working."

You'll want to grab the .cab here and head to XDA to experiment with more panels.

Besides custom ROMs, seems like a whole new can of worms for UI choice has just opened up, offering an unparalleled selection for Windows phone users.  Nice work Herg!

Read More: Mobility Digest

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Review: Sony Xperia X1

Sony's Xperia X1a created a rather lengthy story line last year in anticipation of its release. While they are now available at local Sony Stores and other outlets, Dieter was fortunate enough to capture one while attending MacWorld in San Francisco. I was able to get Dieter to look the other way and took off with it. I only had the weekend with the Xperia X1a before the alarms sounded and a massive manhunt began. Luckily, I had it long enough to take it on a test run to see if all the excitement surrounding the Xperia had any merit. As the saying goes, "Read on after the break" to see what type impression the Xperia made.

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