Update: Here's our hands-on with the Excite x10 (note: we misstated that the processor is a Snapdragon S4, it's actually a TI OMAP4430 - we blame Toshiba's open bar):
It's no secret that Toshiba's first attempt at an Android tablet was on the receiving end of a decent amount of criticism for its less-than-ideal size, so the company decided to super-model up its newest offering to the world, the Excite X10.
Owners of the Sony Xperia X10 around the world are rejoicing, because after a long wait, the previously locked bootloader has finally been cracked. What does this mean, you ask? In a nutshell, it means that the X10 can now handle custom features that other Android devices have had for some time, like kernels that allow for overclocking/undervolting, native USB/Wi-Fi tethering, removal of the 32fps cap, and a myriad of other tweaks.
They may have publicly stated that the Xperia X10 wouldn't be receiving further Android updates just a few months ago, but it looks like Sony Ericsson has had a change of heart: they now say the phone will receive an update to Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) sometime in late Q2 or early Q3. You can apparently thank the Xperia PLAY, arc, and neo, as the company says similarities in development of these devices has made it easier to bring the update to the X10.
The impossible has happened: thanks to a new software update, the Xperia X10's Internet and Maps applications are finally multitouch-capable. And as if that weren't exciting enough for X10 owners, the update also introduces support for bi-directional languages (i.e. Arabic, Farsi, Thai, and Hebrew) - a nice addition, though definitely not as high up on most users' wish lists as a version of Android more recent than 2.1 (or 1.6, if you're using AT&T's edition of the device).
Sony Ericsson posted profits of 35 million euros ($47.14 million) in Q4 of 2010, due largely to major downsizing combined with a shift towards Android-based smartphones. Although Sony Ericsson sold fewer phones overall, Android enthusiasts will be happy to hear that they managed to sell over 9 million Android-based Xperia phones, including the X10, X10 Mini, X10 Pro, and X8, since their launch.
In the last year, Sony has made significant changes after reporting losses of 836 million euros in 2009 ($1.13 billion).
It seems the blogosphere is abuzz with the news that an EU trademark for the name Xperia Play has been awarded to Sony Ericsson, filed the first of the month.
Companies file for trademarks a lot, so we'll see if this name pans out. If it does, it'll quite possibly be the worst marketing decision by Sony Ericsson yet, and may indicate that the Sony mother-ship wants to reserve the Playstation phone name for a later, cooler, probably proprietary-OS device.
Try to contain your excitement, here: Sony-Ericsson will begin rolling out an the update to Android 2.1 (Éclair) for the Xperia X10, X10 Mini, and X10 Mini Pro devices starting November 1. As sarcastic as we are about being updated to an already out-of-date version, it's still a huge step up from the current Android 1.6. Major features of the updates:
Xperia X10: • HD video recording with continuous auto-focus for high quality videos • Upgrade of the Android platform to Android 2.1 • New back up and restore application, with extended content back up • 5 homescreens for apps, widgets, shortcuts and folders • Social phonebook which automatically syncs contact pictures from Facebook and shows when your friends are online
Xperia X10 mini and X10 mini pro: • Improved Bluetooth functionality with support for sending and receiving pictures, contacts and more • New backup and restore application with extended content back up • Automatic synchronization of your contact pictures between Facebook and your phone book • Improved ways of handling pictures, audio, text and numbers in your messages • Upgrade of the Android platform to Android platform 2.1
This morning Sony Ericsson posted a teaser video on YouTube explaining to X10 users the differences they will find in the update from Android 1.6 to 2.1. As painful as it is to watch a video of someone demonstrating five homescreens, slide-to-unlock and live wallpapers like they're brand new features, the video underscores the growing expectation that an update will be released for the X10 within the next few days.
JDG posted some rather blurry pics of the device, whilst also disclosing a price and rough release date: €59 in November. Considering Sony are known for "aspirational" pricing, this is very pleasing if true.
To the sound of a resounding “Meh”, Sony Ericsson have publically indicated that they have dropped Symbian off their roadmap for future handsets. Having been a member of the Symbian Foundation since its creation, Sony Ericsson are now jettisoning the aging platform for greener fields, leaving Nokia as the sole steward of the Symbian brand. According to spokesman Aldo Liguori:
“[Sony Ericsson] have no plans for the time being to develop any new products to the Symbian Foundation standard or operating system”
Funnily enough, Sony Ericsson are still part of the Symbian Foundation, they just don’t have any Symbian handsets planned.