Goodness me it’s getting interesting in the mobile industry.
For years I’ve been screaming with utter annoyance at the absolute rubbish Sony Ericsson has been vomiting into the marketplace. Their devices are amongst the nicest engineered on the planet. They’re well built, stylish, reliable and the cameras are simply amazing.
But the dumb operating system (or, more accurately, the stupidly limited UI) is — literally — from the 1990s.
I positively loved their K800i handset — a class leading device in it’s time — and I’ve continued to admire the workmanship of their more recent models — but actually using a Sony Ericsson is akin to jumping in an Ashes to Ashes style timewarp back to 1990.
It’s pretty accurate to refer to a Sony Ericsson user as a Mobile Caveman. Just like a human caveman, a Mobile Caveman (”MobCav, anyone?”) is able to manage life’s various transactions (fire, food, sex) but when it comes to anything more enlightened or connected, no dice.
Your Sony handset will browse the ‘mobile web’. Cool. It will — with quite a bit of persuasion — synchronise your address book. You can play music on it. You can even play game(s) on it.
But put a top of the range Sony handset next to other class leaders (iPhone, G1/G2, Palm Pre, Nokia N-Series) and it’s immediately clear it’s not in the same league.
Don’t get me started on developing for a Sony Ericsson.
Besides from a degree in Nuclear Physics (with hons and some fannying about with the Dean’s List), you’ll need a massive budget and the patience of a demigod to develop for the current range of Sony Ericssons.
The Xperia device is … well, let’s put it this way, have you seen anyone with an Xperia recently? Hobbled by a ridiculous, ridiculous Microsoft bollocks operating system, the Xperia was never, ever going anywhere.
“Why won’t they go Android?” I used to scream, “Can you imagine how brilliant a Sony Ericsson would be with Android?”
Well… it’s happening.
It had to happen. It was inevitable. Just like Apple bringing out an iPhone (they had to make the move or surrender the mobile music market to the likes of Nokia).
Slashphone reports that at a recent showcase in Taiwan, Peter Ang, the Sony Ericsson VP of Marketing, confirmed Android is now a key operating system for the company. Along with Symbian and Windows. Gah.
Sony’s Android handset(s) are due to arrive with Android 2.0 — and there’s speculation (from Chris Davies over at Android Community.com) that the devices will sport a proprietary UI along the lines of the Xperia UI.
Upgrade Android in your estimations. With the consumer giants such as Sony Ericsson (and Samsung) jumping in, it won’t be long before high-end (and shortly after, mid-tier and low-end) normal mobile users (”normobs”) will be shopping for their Apps via the Android Marketplace.