Sony explores wider range of Android-based devices

A Sony executive said the company is thinking about greater Android use, but wouldn't say in what products

Sony is considering employing Google's Android operating system in more consumer electronics devices, it said Thursday, shortly after launching its first televisions using the software.

Last week Sony put on sale in the U.S. four models of TV that run Android and feature the Google TV platform. The sets are available in screen sizes from 24 inches to 46 inches and cost between US$600 and $1,400. A stand-alone Google TV box with built-in Blu-ray Disc player is also available for $400.

"We're thinking about using Android in more consumer electronics products," Yoshihisa Ishida, head of the company's TV division, told reporters in Tokyo. He didn't specify what kind of products those might be.

To date, Android has been most widely used in smartphones, and Sony Ericsson already offers an Android-based device, the Xperia X10. Some companies have also shown Android-based tablet PCs, but Sony has not yet announced development of such a device.

Sony and Google agreed in May to work together on pushing Android into consumer electronics. The recently launched TVs were an initial target of the collaboration.

Google TV allows users to access Internet-based services from their televisions or while watching TV. For example, a few clicks of a remote control can bring up Twitter so the user can tweet about the current show or read what others are saying, all while the show continues playing in a window in the corner of the screen.

The Internet link also allows users to connect to on-demand video services. Free videos can be watched via Google's YouTube service and the Sony TVs also offer links into Sony's own Qriocity video on-demand service and third-party sites like Netflix.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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Tags GoogleAndroidoperating systemssonysoftwareconsumer electronicsYoshihisa Ishida

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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