Earlier this year, Sony announced that all its consumer electronics divisions would be merged, following years of decline in the company's mobile sector. Merges inevitably mean job losses, and in addition to cutting around 2,000 employees, Sony is also making plans to shut down the Sweden-based Sony Mobile Communications AB.
Now that the 5G standards are complete (both standalone and the kind that piggybacks on LTE), American carriers are rushing to pump up the hype ahead of initial trials and deployments. For T-Mobile, that means announcing a new $3.5 billion investment in 5G with Swedish supplier Ericsson a mere week and a half after announcing a deal of the same dollar amount with Finland-based Nokia. In total, that's a whopping $7 billion.
Together with Australian network Telstra, Ericsson, and Netgear, Qualcomm announced today at the 4G/5G summit in Hong Kong that it has developed the first device that can reach gigabit LTE speeds. The resulting product, the NETGEAR Mobile Router MR1100, is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16, the first modem with gigabit LTE class speeds, which was announced back in February. As a bonus, Qualcomm has also announced the first modem that can reach 5G speeds, the X50.
The network which will use the device, Telstra, will now conduct "comprehensive device, network and user testing," preparing for a commercial launch in the coming months on its gigabit network, which is developed by Ericsson.
This story is about American hardware and software company Apple and Swedish telecom infrastructure company Ericsson. Neither of these companies makes Android hardware (though Ericsson dabbled in it with its ex-partner Sony), but the outcome might affect all manufacturers that release phones in the United States. That said, it's about patents and lawsuits, so get ready for a snore-fest over the next few paragraphs. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Still with us? Alright. Ericsson is the largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment in the world, though their sales are mostly business-to-business, so most consumers don't see a lot of their wares.
Sony, you really confuse me sometimes. The US is just about to get the Xperia Ion on AT&T, supposedly the Sony-branded flagship smartphone. The problem is that the Xperia GX just took that crown from the Ion - before it even came out. I'm not sure what Sony's grand master plan here is, but looking from the outside in, it seems like the company (that lost $5.7 billion last year - most of it in the fourth quarter alone) is flying completely and utterly blind.
Sony got into the Android smartphone game way back in 2009, with the announcement of the Xperia X10.
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. The transaction also provides Sony with a broad intellectual property (IP) cross-licensing agreement covering all products and services of Sony as well as ownership of five essential patent families relating to wireless handset technology.
In a Google+ post earlier today, CyanogenMod announced that CM7 support had arrived for multiple new devices, throwing out a special hint to Xperia users.
For those not familiar, a "nightly" is a brand new released, built on a daily (or nightly) basis with a day's worth of new code. Often times, new features contained in nightly updates may be unstable or not fully tested.
Back in 2001, Sony joined forces with Ericsson to push out a new line of mobile phones, while keeping its current line of game devices, media players, and other electronics a separate entity altogether. Now, Sony is looking to buy Ericsson out in order to streamline all of its mobile technologies into one market, allowing one unified ecosystem across all devices.
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Sony aims to integrate its smartphone operation with its business in tablets, hand-held game machines, and personal computers to save on costs and better synchronize development of mobile devices."
While it's unclear how much the transaction will cost Sony, it's said that the deal is nearing completion at this time.
Sony Ericsson just dropped a press release announcing that the Xperia arc would be available for purchase in the U.S. beginning in August. On the upside, it will be available through Amazon, Newegg, Buy.com, and through Sony directly. On the downside, they give no mention of the device coming to any carrier, and the unsubsidized price is a whopping $600.
Though the arc presents an enticing exterior, the innards aren't so much so:
Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
1GHz Scorpion CPU (MSM8255, same as the fairly dated Desire HD and myTouch 4G)
Update: Now with video goodness. In fact, you can watch Maria Sharapova (don't get too excited) talk about the Xperia Active. And hey, she knows about active lifestyle phones, because she's sporty.
Catch the other videos about the Ray (here, and here) and the Active (here). You know, if you want. Also, the word "lifestyle" was definitely used in describing the design of the Ray. I felt queasy.
Today at CommunicAsia (we've never heard of it, either) Sony-Ericsson announced two additions to the Android-powered Xperia line of smartphones: the Ray and Active. Both phones are niche sort of "lifestyle" devices, and will probably be marketed more heavily in Japan than the rest of the world.