Sony Ericsson reveals Xperia release date

Beleaguered mobile phone manufacturer Sony Ericsson has given its much anticipated Xperia X1 smartphone a 30 September release date, confounding rumours that it might be delayed until Q1 2009.

Sony Ericsson says that the handset will be available initially only to UK, Germany and Sweden with other markets in Europe to follow in the fourth quarter of 2008. The rest of the world, including North America, China and Russia, will have to wait until later this year to hear when the handset will be coming to these regions.

To drum up some Apple-style hype for the Windows Mobile 6.1 based device, Sony Ericsson will have a countdown to the device launch marked with a live global webcast on 15 September at 13:00. In this, the company says that viewers will be presented with an in-depth demonstration of the device along with a premiere of an alternative reality thriller' called Johnny X. New episodes for this will be added three times a week at over a three week period, commencing 22 September.

"We are extremely pleased with the innovation and new user experience we have created for consumers on the Xperia X1," said Rikko Sakaguchi, vice president and head of creation and development at Sony Ericsson.

"The in-depth demonstration on the webcast will showcase how this handset is truly unique. The nine panel eco system puts the user in total control of the primary experiences available on the phone and allows consumers to personalise the panel interface to suit their needs and lifestyle.

"The Xperia X1 has the highest quality screen on the market, four-way navigation keys and optical joy stick to give a stressless browsing experience and, with its super fast processor and network speed the Xperia X1 really bridges the gap between personal, entertainment and work mobile needs."

Sony Ericsson has a lot riding on the success of the Xperia, with the Sony Ericsson division suffering from recent heavy losses. In particular, its first quarter profits in 2008 dropped by 98 per cent, dropping it to fifth overall in the handset market.

IT PRO recently covered Sony Ericsson's troubles, in a feature asking what's happened to Sony Ericsson.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.