Sony Ericsson Publishes Q4 2011 Financial Statement; ‘Intense Competition’ Leads To Heavy Losses!

Earlier today, Sony Ericsson published its earnings for the last quarter (Q4,2011) and things are certainly not looking good for the company.

The company managed to ship 9 million handsets in the last quarter, which is 0.5 million less than the quarter preceding it.  The company had managed to ship 11.2 million handsets in the same time period during 2010. The average selling price of the handset also dropped sharply from 166 Euros in Q3 to 143 Euros in the last quarter. The company also posted a whopping 227 million euros operating income loss.

The only silver lining was that the company managed to ship 28 million Xperia smartphones in 2011, which accounted for 80% of its total sales. The official press release from Sony Ericsson states that they faced heavy losses in Q4 because of “intense competition, price erosion and restructuring charges.” The company also blamed the floods in Thailand and the natural disasters in Japan, that led to shortage of some key components of its Xperia handsets, as the reason behind its losses.

Hopefully, Sony Ericsson will have a much better 2012 in terms of sales and profits. The company has already taken some drastic decisions including the Ericsson stake of the company being brought by Sony.

Sony Ericsson and AT&T Unveil The Xperia ION; Comes With a 12MP Camera!

Along with the Galaxy Note, AT&T also announced Sony Ericsson’s first ever 4G LTE handset, the Xperia Ion. The Ion is also the first dual-core touting phone from the Japanese handset manufacturer.

The Xperia Ion comes with a 4.6-inch HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine with a 720p (1280×720) resolution. Internally, the handset is powered by the dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor from Qualcomm which is clocked at 1.5GHz, and is accompanied by an Adreno 220 GPU.

“With Xperia ion, we’re bringing together several firsts that will take users beyond the smartphone,” said Paul Hamnett, President, Sony Ericsson North America. “Designed to deliver a seamless experience across the multiple screens we use to play, watch, listen, and share, Xperia ion is the gateway to entertainment when and – most importantly – where you want it.”

At the back of the Ion is a whopping 12MP camera with Exmor R sensor, which is insanely fast as well. Sony states that the camera foes from standby mode to first run in just 1.5 seconds. There is a front-facing camera on the handset as well. Both the front facing camera and the camera at the back are capable of recording videos in HD resolution.

The Xperia Ion is also a PlayStation certified phone, which gives users early access to some high-quality games specially optimized for their handset. The handset will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with SE’s Timescape UX on top of it, and will get the Ice Cream Sandwich update sooner than later. Like all other handsets announced by AT&T, the carrier did not announce as to when and how much the Ion will cost.

Top 10 Android Phones Of 2011

2011 was all about Android phones with bigger and better screens, dual-core processors, and oodles of RAM and 8MP cameras. More than 50 Android handsets and numerous Android tablets were released in the last year.

10) Samsung Galaxy S – So yeah, the Galaxy S is a pretty old phone and was released in Q2 of 2010. Yet, the handset is still selling extremely well in all regions of the world. The modding community even actively supports the handset.

The handset is so popular that Samsung was at one point re-considering bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to the handset, after all the Galaxy S owners filed a petition when the company had initially announced that it won’t be updating the handset to Android 4.0. While the company later on decided against updating the Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich, it did promise to release a Value Pack.

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In fact, a Value Pack firmware for the Galaxy S leaked online last night which brings Face Unlock and many new features.

9) LG Optimus 2X – The LG Optimus 2X was the first dual-core phone to be available to the general public. LG and Nvidia had a clear 3-4months advantage, since no other manufacturer was able to release a dual-core handset in the market before Q2 of 2011. The Optimus 2X is not the best dual-core handset out there when it comes to performance and software stability, but at its current market price, it is nothing short of a steal.

8) Motorola Droid Bionic – The Bionic was initially supposed to be launched in the first half of the year, and was eagerly expected by the people in the United States, since it was the first 4G LTE phone to hit Verizon’s network with a dual-core processor. The handset was first expected to be launched with a Tegra 2 processor, but released with a much powerful OMAP processor, after the delay.

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However, the Droid Bionic’s launch was over-shadowed just a couple of months after its launch, when Motorola launched the Droid RAZR, which was basically a slimmed down version of the Bionic.

7) Sony Ericsson Xperia Play- Many dubbed the Play as a disappointment when Sony had initially announced it. For a gaming phone, the Play had somewhat dated specs. However, Sony Ericsson proved everyone that it’s the combination of hardware and software that matters.

Many games are exclusively launched for the Xperia Play first, and then for other much powerful phones like the Galaxy S2, HTC Sensation etc. There are more than 200 games specifically optimized for the Play available at the moment, and the number keeps on growing.

6) Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo V – The Xperia Neo V is a dumbed down Xperia down. Due to the floods and Earthquakes in Japan and its nearby areas, there was a shortage of the 8MP Exmor R camera sensors used by Sony, and thus the company decided to fit in a 5MP cam on the Neo, and call it the Neo V.

Neo-V

The Neo V sports a 1GHz single core processor, runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and packs 512MB of RAM. All these specs make the Neo V one of the best Android phones in the mid-range segment. No other Android phone comes close to the price/performance ratio offered by the Neo V. The best part is that Sony Ericsson has already confirmed that it will be updating the Neo V to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich sometime in late Q1 or early Q2 of 2012.

5) Samsung Galaxy Note – Okay, the Note is not really a phone, and its not really a tablet as well. It still however runs on Android, has a SIM card slot, and can be used for making calls.The Galaxy Note is a bigger version of the Galaxy S2, with a mammoth 5.3-inch screen with a whopping 1280×800 resolution. Under the hood is a 1.4GHz Cortex-A9 processor, an ARM Mali-400MP GPU and 1GB of RAM. As its name suggests, the Note is meant for taking notes and comes with an S-Pen for this purpose.

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The S-Pen surprisingly works very well in real life, and is suited for designers, artists and people who want to take some notes on the go.

4) HTC Sensation – This sensational handset from HTC was their answer to Samsung’s Galaxy S2. The Sensation was a decent performer, but still nowhere near Galaxy S2. The Galaxy S2 trumped it in nearly every department, except for the superior build quality and the higher-resolution screen found on the latter.

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The Sense 3.0 UI found on the Sensation looked beautiful, but was also criticized heavily for slowing down the overall performance of the phone.

3) Droid RAZR – With the Droid RAZR, Motorola attempted at reviving the iconic RAZR brand. Like the original RAZR, the Droid RAZR was the slimmest phone released this year at just 7.1mm thick. Even then Motorola managed to pack in a dual-core OMAP SoC, an 8MP camera, 4G LTE and a Super-AMOLED ‘Advanced’ screen on the handset.

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The RAZR however was a announced at the wrong time. Moto announced the handset just 12 hours before Google announced the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich, and so it was forgotten quickly. The encrypted bootloader on the handset also made sure that the developers stayed away from the handset.

2) Galaxy Nexus – The release of Galaxy Nexus along with Ice Cream Sandwich did steal some thunder from the Galaxy S2, but it still was not enough to make it the best Android handset of 2011. The Android version running on Galaxy Nexus comes straight from Google, without any modifications from carriers or handset manufacturers, and that is what makes the Nexus brand so popular.

The Galaxy Nexus was also among the first few phones in 2011 to sport a 720p (1280×720) resolution 4.65-inch HD Super-AMOLED screen. The handset also comes with a 5MP camera at its back, which takes some mediocre pictures, but has zero shutter lag. This means a picture is clicked and saved as soon as the user presses the virtual shutter button. It’s ridiculously fast!

1) Samsung Galaxy S2 – The Samsung Galaxy S2 was no doubt the hottest and the most popular Android handset of 2011. Right from its announcement at MWC 2011 to its launch in various regions of the world, the phone was always in the limelight. No wonder the Galaxy S2 was the highest selling Android phone of 2011, and also the fastest selling phone ever in Samsung’s history. The handset breached the 10 million mark in a mere 5 months.

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The Galaxy S2 was the most powerful Android handset released this year, all thanks to Samsung’s own Exynos 4210 SoC, which packs in a 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor and an ARM Mali-400MP GPU.

Don’t agree with our list of the Top 10 Android phones of 2011? Drop in a comment and let us know!

Sony Ericsson Nozomi Poses For The Camera Once Again

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Nozomi a.k.a Xperia HD has found its way on the Internet before its announcement, quite a few times. Now, just a couple of days before its official announcement, the handset makes one more surprise appearance. The folks over at IT Pro Portal have managed to get their hands on some leaked pictures of the Nozomi (Xperia HD), along with some preliminary benchmark scores and specs.

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As rumored and leaked earlier, the Nozomi will come with a 4.3-inch 720p HD resolution screen. Internally, it will pack in a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S3 processor, 1GB of RAM and an Adreno 220 GPU.  The selling point of the Nozomi will be the 12MP camera at the back of the handset. While I am pretty sure it will not be an N8 killer, it will still set the bar high for other Android phones to match in the camera department. Sadly, the handset will not come with a microSD card slot, which might be a deal breaker considering the 12MP camera and its 1080p video recording capabilities.

The preliminary benchmarks don’t really paint a good picture of the Nozomi but I am sure that Sony will improve the performance of the handset with some software optimizations. Sadly, the Nozomi has ‘dated’ specs compared to all other Android handsets in the market, except for the camera, and will not be enough to get Sony back in the game.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Handsets To Get Ice Cream Sandwich In March/April 2012

Bad new Sony Ericsson Xperia owners! The company has just announced in a blog post that it will start rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for its entire Xperia 2011 range of handsets from end of March or early April 2012.

Sony had earlier released an official Alpha Ice Cream Sandwich based ROM for some of the Xperia branded handsets including the Xperia Arc S, Neo V and the Ray.  The company states that it will continue to share the progress report with loyal Xperia users and will also share videos of the new software running on the Xperia handsets.

So yeah, Xperia owners still need to wait for at least 3 more months before they get to taste Ice Cream Sandwich on their handset. Other Android handset manufacturers are also expected to release the Ice Cream Sandwich update for their handsets sometime around late Q1 or early Q2.

The 2011 range of Xperia handsets include the Xperia Play, Arc, Arc S, Mini, Mini Pro, Ray, Neo, Neo V, Ray and the Active. While its nice that Sony Ericsson is going to update all their handsets to Ice Cream Sandwich, it would have been better if the company managed to release an official or unofficial Ice Cream Sandwich update for developers and other advanced users to try.

Sony Ericsson Live With Walkman Up For Pre-Order In India

Back in August, Sony Ericsson announced the mid-range Live with Walkman music smartphone. This handset runs on the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. Sony Ericsson Live With Walkman comes with a dedicated Walkman hardware button, which provides instant access to the music player and allows you to like, share and discover content through a deep Facebook integration. This handset is currently available for pre-order at Flipkart. Check out the complete specs after the break.

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Sony Ericsson Live With Walkman features a small 3.2 inch touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels, 1 Ghz processor, 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, HD (720p) video recording, VGA front-facing camera, Walkman player, Android Market, 3D games, Stereo speakers, DLNA Certified, Micro USB support and more.

It also features a 3.5 mm audio jack, FM radio with RDS, A-GPS, WebKit Web browser, Wi-Fi, 3G Connectivity, Stereo Bluetooth with A2DP, PlayNow service, USB mass storage, 320 MB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 2 GB microSD memory card bundled, up to 17 hrs 30 min of Music playback time, up to 6 hrs 30 min of Video playback time, up to 600 hrs of standby time, up to 14 hrs 15 min of talk time and a 1200 mAh battery.

The Sony Ericsson Live With Walkman comes with a price-tag of Rs.14,550 (approx. $280). This handset features an infinite button, which lets you explore even more music and video content using the Sony Ericsson’s new Qriocity service. It also allows you to access more than 300,000 apps from the Android Market. The Sony Ericsson Live With Walkman will compete with other Android smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy Ace, HTC Wildfire S and HTC ChaCha in the Indian market. To pre-order this smartphone, head over to this page at Flipkart.

Check out the official images below.

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sony ericsson live with walkman

sony ericsson live with walkman

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc HD a.k.a Nozomi Poses For The Camera Once Again

The upcoming Sony Ericsson Nozomi a.k.a the Xperia Arc HD pictures have leaked quite a few times on the Internet before. Today, another bunch of pictures of the handset have leaked online, thanks to GSMArena.

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The Nozomi will come with a 4.3-inch LCD, with a whopping 1280×720(720p) resolution. Sadly, the Nozomi will come with a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S3 processor, and an ageing Adreno 220 GPU. Other than this, the handset will pack in 1GB of RAM, and will come with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory. The phone lacks an external microSD card slot, and comes with a micro-SIM card slot.

Like the Arc, the Arc HD will also come with a mini-HDMI port. At the back of the handset is a whopping 12MP camera aided by a single LED flash. The camera is also capable of recording videos in Full HD (1080p) resolution. The Nozomi or the Arc HD will run on Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, and should get the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update soon after.

Sony Ericsson is expected to announce the Xperia Arc HD  at the upcoming CES 2012.

FIFA 12 Now Available As a Xperia Play Exclusive!

Sony Ericsson unveiled the one of its kind Android powered gaming phone, the Xperia Play, back at MWC this year. The phone comes with a   dedicated gamepad, and is aimed at serious gamers. The internals of the phone were seemingly dated, and have played a major hand in the lackluster sale of the handset.

Nevertheless, Sony had promised that with time the Play will get some exclusive games. The company stuck to its word and released some exclusive games for the handset like Minecraft etc. Now, joining the list of exclusive games for the Xperia Play is EA Mobile’s FIFA 12. EA had previously launched some exclusive titles on the Play as well like Battlefield and Need For Speed.

Being an Xperia Play exclusive, the game is optimized to take advantage of the phone’s gamepad. The game is also available for other Xperia handsets like the Xperia Arc, Arc S, Neo and Pro handsets. Xperia Play owners can download FIFA 12 for free until early 2012 as a part of Sony Ericsson’s Get In The Game’ promotion.

Sony Ericsson Nypon with Ice Cream Sandwich Caught on Video

Just days after Sony Ericsson Nazomi was leaked, another Sony Ericsson device has shown up on the interwebs. The new device goes by the codename Nypon and is running ST-Ericsson Novathor U8500, which is a dual core 1 GHz chip. The capacitive touchscreen is said to have a resolution of 540 x 960, and the device already features Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). The videos published by ST-Ericsson are embedded below.



Little else is known about the Nypon, which also goes by the name LT22i. It’s still early days for Nypon, which is shown to be running from a board in the videos. If appropriately priced, it can turn out to be an exciting addition to the mid-range smartphone segment. However, the show stealer for SE’s 2012 series of devices will be the Nazomi that is slated to feature a 1.5 GHz dual core processor, 1 GB RAM, and a full HD 4.3-inch screen.

In many ways, 2011 was the year of course correction for Sony Ericsson. It learnt from its past mistakes and focused on enhancing its ecosystem by becoming more consumer friendly. The beleaguered phone manufacturer also made some crucial decisions like ending the joint venture with Ericsson in order to better leverage Sony’s other properties, and exiting the low margin dumb phone market. Samsung has been providing a tough challenge to all Android manufacturers, but if Sony gets its act right, 2012 could well be the year of its resurgence in the mobile phone market.

Android ICS Ported to Xperia X10

Sony Ericsson has already made it amply clear that its previous generation Xperia handsets won’t be receiving Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). However, all hope is not yet lost for the Xperia owners. The enterprising ROM chefs at XDA are already working on porting Android 4.0 or ICS to the Xperia X10. In fact, the first alpha build of ICS for the X10 is now available for download.

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Zdzihu, who is one of the most respected developers in the X10 community, has succeeded in getting the ICS to boot on the X10. As of now, most of the basic stuff, including touchscreen, radio, bluetooth, and GPS is working. However, Wi-Fi, mobile data, and audio playback is problematic, and pretty much everything else doesn’t work. The ROM is based on the existing 2.6.29 kernel, and supports devices with unlocked as well as locked boot-loaders.

The biggest challenge in porting a new version of Android is getting the hardware drivers to work. Earlier, Sony Ericsson had stepped in and helped out the FreeXperia team to port the Cyanogen Mod to different Xperia devices. It will be interesting to do see if they intend on doing something similar with ICS. Even otherwise, the release of ICS for the newer Xperia devices should help the ROM chefs. However, we might not even have to wait that long to get a fully functioning ICS ROM, given the track record of Zdzihu and others at XDA forums.