Sony completed its $1.47 billion acquisition of Sony Ericsson today, launching an aptly-named venture, Sony Mobile Communications. The Japanese conglomerate stated the official goal of Sony Mobile Communications in a statement announcing the transaction back in October:
The transaction gives Sony an opportunity to rapidly integrate smartphones into its broad array of network-connected consumer electronics devices - including tablets, televisions and personal computers - for the benefit of consumers and the growth of its business.
We stopped by the Sony booth earlier this morning at CES, and got some hands-on time with the very first Sony smartphones (Sony-Ericsson is no more, subject to regulatory approval) - the Xperia Ion and the Xperia S. While these devices were designed before the Sony Ericsson breakup, they'll be marketed as Sony devices when they hit retail channels.
AT&T embraced the go big or go home motto like a boss today at CES -- it announced six new Android devices. Three premium phones, two budget phones, and a budget tablet. Not only that, but every single one of these new devices will run on its 4G LTE network. Let's take a look at what we know so far, and we'll update as more info shows up.
Update: I would like to note that just because all of the phones are shown running Gingerbread, that doesn't mean they won't ship with ICS.
Update 12/21: SE published a blog post this morning vaguely detailing a timeline as to when ICS should start hitting devices. It looks like the Xperia Arc S, Neo V, and Ray will be the first to get the update sometime in late March/early April. After that, the Arc, PLAY, Neo, Mini, Mini Pro, Pro, Active, and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will all receive the update as well, though no ETA for that bunch was given.
There must be something weird going on with manufacturers lately - first Huawei released an alpha build of ICS for the Honor, and now Sony Ericsson (soon to be just Sony) has released an ICS ROM for certain unlocked Xperia devices, including the Arc S, Neo V, and Ray.
Since it's an alpha ROM, it's not made for day-to-day use, as it is limited to just a few functions at the moment.
Thanksgiving is over, but you know what that means - Black Friday is now officially in full effect, and we're seeing some pretty good deals, some of which are getting snatched up in mere seconds (cough, $199.99 Toshiba Thrive).
One of such BF deals is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc X12 with AT&T 3G frequencies for $319.99. The MSRP is listed at $549.99, and the price before today was somewhere around $370, so if you're looking for a slim and sexy Android Gingerbread device without signing a contract, this phone may very well be for you.
It looks like the Cyanogenmod team, in a continued effort to bring continually-updated Gingerbread goodness to as many devices as possible, have brought nightlies to a new crop of handsets, including AT&T's variant of the Samsung Galaxy SII, the Motorola Atrix, LG's Optimus Black and a handful of Sony devices including the Xperia X10, Play, Arc (X12), X10 mini, ST18i, and about five others.
Update: Here are some of the popular device/codename mappings (mapping these took a significant and unnecessary amount of time.
We heard that Sony was looking to buy Ericsson's half of Sony Ericsson earlier this month, and now that deal has come to fruition. Sony will purchase Ericsson's part of the joint effort that has been over a decade in the making for €1.05 billion cash. Aside from the obvious, the deal will also land Sony a cross-licensing agreement that includes access to a few "essential patent families relating to wireless handset technology."
The purchase will allow Sony to better streamline all of its current markets, including game consoles, smartphones, tablets, computers, and more into one unified subset of devices.