Sony Mobile promises something “extraordinary” for CES 2013

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Jan 062013

With only days before CES 2013 kicks off, the hype is in full gear. Sony has sent out an email promising that “The extraordinary is coming” is coming to the tradeshow.

Sony Mobile CES 2013 teaser

Little is revealed in the teaser but the Xperia branding suggests that it will be smartphone related. With all the Sony Xperia Z (and Xperia ZL) rumours swirling, could it be anything but Sony’s new flagship smartphone?

Keep it locked on Gadgetorama over the next few days. We will bring you all the highlights from CES 2013, including Sony’s announcement.

Read more: XperiaBlog

Sony provides update on 2012 Xperia smartphone Android 4.1 upgrade plans

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Dec 172012

SonySony today provided an updated and more specific timeline as to when 2012 Xperia smartphone owners would (or would not) see Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on their devices with the usual caveat that “availability and rollout timing will vary by market and customer variants.”

First up will be the Xperia T, Xperia TX and Xperia V with upgrades set to roll during February and March. The Xperia P, Xperia J and Xperia go will follow starting in late March. The Xperia S, Xperia SL, Xperia ion and Xperia acro S will then follow in “the subsequent weeks.”

A number of devices will not be updated. The Xperia U, Xperia miro, Xperia tipo, and Xperia sola will all remain on Android 4.0. Sony explained that:

The quality of Xperia’s software experience is dependent on a number of factors including: screen resolution, hardware platform and RAM. In the case of Xperia go, this combination came together in a way that meant the user experience running JB was not adversely affected.

Unfortunately, in the case of Xperia tipo, Xperia miro, Xperia U and Xperia sola this wasn’t the case – so we made the decision to keep them on Ice Cream Sandwich.

It remains to be seen if and when devices will then be upgraded to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Sony has already confirmed that it will not upgrade its 2011 Xperia devices to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Read more: Sony Mobile Communications

Details emerge about late 2013 Sony flagship smartphone

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Dec 162012

SonySo far, rumours about Sony’s upcoming flagship devices for 2013 have pointed to two similar devices, the Sony Odin and the Sony Yuga. Now comes word that there could be an even more impressive device in the works for the second half of 2013.

According to two different reports, Sony is developing a smartphone that will be powered by a quad-core Cortex-A15 SoC. It will also come with a 5-inch 1080p display, 3GB of RAM, 128GB of onboard storage, a 16GB camera and a 3,000mAh battery. It could also be dust-proof and waterproof like the recent Xperia go. At this point, it looks like it will be about the same size as the Yuga but that could still change before launch.

The Chinese-language MyDrivers website adds that the processor in question would be none other than a Samsung Exynos. Could it be rumoured Cortex-A15-based Exynos 5440 SoC?

With such specifications, it definitely looks like Sony is seriously looking to take on Apple and Samsung in the smartphone arena in 2013.

Read more: MyDrivers and (in Chinese) [Google translation] (Source: UnwiredView)

Sony Xperia and Box extend cloud storage partnership into 2013

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Dec 092012

Sony Mobile CommunicationsSony Mobile Communications this week announced that its partnership with Box would be extended into 2013.

Announced before the 2011 festive season and initially running for a year – Xperia smartphone and Sony tablet users can now grab free 50GB cloud storage for life, by signing-up or accessing existing Box accounts from their devices before 31st December 2013.

Sony and Box first announced their partnership last year. Unlike many similar offers, this one is for life!

The Box app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. All Sony Xperia 10 smartphones and more recent devices (except for the Xperia X10 mini, X10 mini pro and devices with Android versions prior to 2.1) and Android tablets are eligible for the 50GB of storage from Box.

Read more: Sony Mobile Communications (Source: XperiaBlog)

Sony Xperia flagship device to take on Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S III?

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Nov 162012

Sony Mobile CommunicationsSony is looking to up its game in the smartphone market with its next flagship smartphone. In an interview with the German-language Financial Times Deutschland, Sony Mobile’s Communications CVP Sales & Marketing Dennis van Schie said that a flagship model to be released “in the near future” will compete directly against Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S III.

It remains to be seen if this new flagship is the Sony Yuga or Sony Odin recently spotted on benchmarking sites. Rumoured specifications include a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.1.1 (although that could be bumped up by release time), a 5-inch 1080p display, 2GB of RAM and a 12MP camera.

Sony could unveil this device in early 2013 either at January’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) or February’s Mobile World Congress (MWC).

Van Schie also added that Sony is keeping a close eye on Windows Phone 8. “We have a good relationship with Microsoft and we are watching the development of Windows Phone closely. If it succeeds, we will not be caught off guard,” he explained.

Sony is also looking to launch additional tablets. Due to “intense price competition,” it will only launch a few other Android tablets. “It has become very difficult to earn money with tablets.”

On the content side, Sony will focus on improving cross-device support for its library of music and video content. By the end of next year, users will be able to access content through a single sign-on across all devices.

2013 promises to be a busy year for Sony!

Read more: Financial Times Deutschland (in German) [Google translation] (Source: XperiaBlog)

Sony Mobile outlines Xperia Jelly Bean update plans

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Oct 192012

Sony Mobile CommunicationsSony today announced its upgrade plans for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Most of its 2012 lineup will be upgraded but the same cannot be said for older 2011 devices. Confirmed for updates are the following devices:

  • Xperia T and Xperia TX
  • Xperia V
  • Xperia S
  • Xperia acro S
  • Xperia ion
  • Xperia P
  • Xperia go
  • Xperia J

As for its 2011 lineup, Sony concluded “after thorough evaluation” that it will not upgrade them beyond Ice Cream Sandwich. Rumours about this decision first surfaced in the summer with Sony responding that it was still “actively investigating Android OS upgrades for all devices.” Also missing from the list above are some 2012 entry-level models such as the Xperia and Xperia Tipo.

Sony provided few details as to when the upgrades would be available. So far, it has only confirmed that updates for the Xperia T, Xperia TX, and Xperia V would be available “from mid-Q1 2013.” Presumably other updates will follow afterwards.

Read more: Sony Mobile

New Sony tablet to be called Sony Xperia Tablet S?

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Aug 112012

Recent leaks have revealed much in terms of what Sony’s next tablet will look like and will have under the hood. Aside from the fact that it will be branded as an Xperia device, one missing bit of information has been its official name. A picture allegedly taken by the device may now have revealed this.

Uploaded to Picasa, the photo’s EXIF data shows the manufacturer as Sony and the model name as Xperia Tablet S.

EXIF data for rumoured Sony Xperia Tablet S

While not definitive, it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility either. The move would allow Sony to use both its Xperia brand name and build on the tablet naming convention established with the Sony Tablet S and Tablet P.

Read more: Picasa (Source: Xperia Blog)

Pictures of upcoming 9.4-inch Sony Xperia tablet surface

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Aug 092012

Leaked press pictures of the Sony Xperia tablet have surfaced. Not only do they give us a good look at the tablet but also confirm the rumoured Xperia branding. The distinctive wedge shape of the Sony Tablet S has nearly disappeared with only a wrap-around lip remaining.

Rumoured Sony Xperia tablet

Rumoured Sony Xperia tablet

A number of specification details (Tegra 3 processor, 8MP rear camera and 1MP front camera, and 6,000mAh battery) also match up with those that were leaked earlier. The body will be made of a magnesium-aluminium alloy.

The Sony Xperia tablet is expected to launch in September in three configurations (16GB, 32GB and 64GB) starting at US$399.99. It may be announced at Sony’s IFA 2012 press event.

Read more: xda-developers (Source: XperiaBlog)

Sony “still investigating” Android 4.1 for 2011 Xperia devices

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Jul 312012

Sony Mobile CommunicationsSony today issued a correction to comments made earlier by a company representative that suggested that there would be no Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrades for 2011 Xperia smartphones. It turns out that Sony is still looking at offering such upgrades according to its statement:

A quick note – during a Q&A session last week on our Sony Mobile GB Facebook page, a local spokesperson gave information out in error on our Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software development and rollout for 2011 Xperia smartphones.

We are actively investigating Android OS upgrades for all devices, but in the meantime, our Ice Cream Sandwich rollout for Xperia S and 2011 Xperia smartphones continues as planned.

While this is not a confirmation that there will be Android 4.1 upgrades, it does at least open the door to the possibility. With Sony still deploying Android 4.0 to a number of devices, it may be a while before we see 4.1 upgrades though.

Read more: Sony Xperia Product Blog

Rumour: 9.4-inch Sony Xperia tablet revealed

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Jul 312012

A leaked slide deck has revealed what appears to be Sony’s next generation tablet. It retains the distinctive wedge design of the Tablet S but has been improved in a number of areas. Along with the expected hardware upgrades, it is also thinner (by 42%) and lighter than its predecessor.

Unlike its first generation tablets, Sony will bear the Xperia brand name when it launches. If so, the move would indicate that Sony will use its Xperia brand for all of its mobile devices going forward.

Rumoured Sony Xperia tablet

Rumoured Sony SGPT1211 tablet specifications:

  • Processor: Tegra 3
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0 or later
  • Cellular connectivity: 3G
  • Other connectivity: GPS/A-GPS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0
  • Display: 9.4-inch WXGA (1280×800)
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Storage: 16/32/64GB onboard and SD cards
  • Rear-facing camera: 8.0MP
  • Front-facing camera: 1.0MP
  • Battery: 6,000mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 241.2 x 174.3 x 11.85 millimeters / 570 grams

Sony’s latest tablet will also come with a feature called Guest Mode. It will effectively offer basic multi-user support (something that Google is working on for a future Android release) by allowing users to set up a guest account on the tablet with is own applications and wallpaper.

Rumoured Sony Xperia tablet
Click for a larger version

Sony will also offer a number of accessories to go along with the tablet. Among these are a cover with integrated keyboard as well as a number of stands and docking options.

Rumoured Sony Xperia tablet

Three models will be offered. A 16GB model will sell for US$399.99, a 32GB one for US$499.99, and a 64GB one for US$599.99. It could launch as early as September 2012. There is no word on Canadian availability at this point.

Read more: xda-developers (Source: Xperia Blog)

2011 Sony Xperia models unlikely to receive Android 4.1 upgrades

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Jul 292012

Sony MobileA number of recent comments by Sony UK suggest that the company will not provide Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrades to its 2011 Xperia device lineup. In a question and answer session conducted on Facebook, John Cooper, UK Product Manager for Sony Mobile, confirmed that neither the Sony Xperia Arc S nor the Sony Xperia Mini Pro would be upgraded to Android 4.1. In another comment, Cooper added that nothing to announce for the Sony Xperia S either.

While the comments do not mention a number of other 2011 models, the fact that the Xperia arc S was one of the more powerful ones suggests that lower-specced devices have little chance of seeing an upgrade either.

Technically, it would appear that any device running Android 4.0 should be able to run Android 4.1. It does require though that manufacturers devote resources to preparing, testing and supporting the upgrade package (assuming that there is nothing in their hardware or software preventing such a move). Not every company can and wants to do so, preferring instead that customers upgrade their device to a new one, a suggestion hinted at a few times in the Facebook exchange.

Sony has yet to give any hints about its Android 4.1 plans for its 2012 models.

Read more: Sony UK [via Facebook] (Source: Xperia Blog)

Rumour: Sony to unveil new smartphones at IFA 2012

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Jul 252012

Sony has sent out press invitations to an IFA 2012 press conference. While the invitation itself makes no mention of what will be announced or what the “exclusive booth unveiling” will reveal, expectations are that Sony will unveil new smartphones at the event. On the other hand, it could also unveil a new generation of tablets.

Sony Mobile IFA 2012 press event

A number of Sony Xperia smartphones have been the topic of rumours in recent weeks. Among them are the Sony Xperia J (ST26i), the Sony Xperia SL (LT26ii), the ‘Hayabusa’ (LT29i) and the ‘Mint’ (LT30i). The latter two are expected to be Sony’s new flagship devices.

IFA 2012 could be quite busy: Samsung is also rumoured to be holding an event there called Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2012 Episode 2.

Read more: GSM Arena

Sony to retain Sony Ericsson liquid energy logo for now

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Jul 122012

Sony Ericsson logoDespite Sony acquiring Ericsson’s share in their joint venture late last year, the Sony Ericsson liquid energy logo is not going away just yet. Sony has decided to continue using it on new devices for the time being.

Sony has confirmed plans to eventually drop the logo but it won’t do so just yet. A Sony executive explained to TechRadar that the logo remains to “make sure consumers associated the two brands for the time being.” Sony Ericsson smartphones were released as recently as last October, suggesting that the transition may not happen until 2013.

Rumours earlier this year suggested that Sony would drop the logo earlier than now expected after some prototype devices were spotted without it.

It remains to be seen if Sony replaces the logo with one of their own.

Read more: TechRadar

Rumour: 4 more Sony Mobile devices coming this summer including Xperia Z

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Jun 152012

Sony MobileThe latest rumours suggest that Sony Mobile is set for a busy summer. A comment in Xperia Blog‘s forums suggests that Sony will launch four additional devices in the second half of the year. Although unsubstantiated, the details appear to line up with what they have heard from their own sources.

These second generation NXT Series devices will be known as the Xperia C, Xperia E, Xperia Y, and Xperia Z. The first three are set to launch in July 2012 with the new flagship Xperia Z to follow in August.

All four will come with Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors,OLED displays, Cyber-shot camera lenses from T camera series. All will also be PlayStation Certified and come with the Walkman music player.

We should know next week how accurate this rumour is. An official event is apparently scheduled for June 20th.

Read more: Xperia Blog

Fans move Sony Mobile Xperia announcement up to this week

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Jun 122012

Facebook fans of Sony’s Xperia devices have spoken (or clicked rather) in droves. Sony’s next Xperia device announcement was to have taken place next week but enough took part in Sony Mobile’s ‘Fast Forward’ that the announcement has been moved up to this week and will likely take place tomorrow.

Sony Mobile June 2012 event

As for what new Xperia device Sony will announce, it has not given any hints. But it is giving away four of these soon-to-be-announced devices.

Read more: Sony Mobile (Facebook)