Sony Ericsson's first Android smartphone to launch in April

The Xperia X10 smartphone had originally been scheduled to launch in the first quarter

Japanese consumers will be the first in the world to get their hands on Sony Ericsson's new Xperia X10 smartphone when it goes on sale here in April through carrier NTT DoCoMo, the companies said Thursday.

The phone is Sony Ericsson's first to be based on Google's Android operating system and is part of an effort to carve out a name for itself with phones that include social networking as well as entertainment functions such as music and movies.

"Our Xperia phone is the outcome of a successful global R&D effort, including our team in Tokyo that led the product development," said Bert Nordberg, president of Sony Ericsson, said at a Tokyo news conference. "DoCoMo will be our first customer globally to receive the phone."

The timing of the launch represents a slight delay from Sony Ericsson's original first quarter launch window stated when the phone was unveiled in November.

Sony Ericsson has customized the basic Android user interface on the handset and added two of its own applications. Mediascape helps organize and index music, photos and video in the phone and on the network while Timescape attempts to pull together information from social networking services including Twitter and Facebook into a single place.

The phone runs on a 1GHz SnapDragon processor, has a 4-inch touchscreen display and packs an 8-megapixel camera. It will come with 1GB of internal memory but additional content can be added on a memory card.

The launch of the Xperia also marks the first time in almost two years that Sony Ericsson will supply a cell phone to NTT DoCoMo, which is Japan's largest carrier with roughly 55 million subscriptions.

"Sony Ericsson is committed to the Japanese market and we will continue to do our best to deliver phones that deliver on our communications and entertainment strategy," said Nordberg.

Tags smartphoneSony EricssonGoogle AndroidXperia X10

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service

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