Sony Ericsson Upgrading Xperia X10 to Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Sony Ericsson announced Friday that its Xperia X10 smartphone will be upgraded to Android 2.3 Gingerbread by the third quarter, though it might not be available to all users.
Sony Ericsson upgraded the X10 to Android 2.1 in November, and had planned to stop there, but customer demand and technology advances prompted the company to consider another upgrade.
"We have listened to our consumers," Sony wrote in a blog post. "In addition, the development of the software for our new 2011 range of Xperia phones gave us a solution that made it possible to deliver Gingerbread on Xperia X10."
Sony Ericsson decided to bypass the Android 2.2 update because it has been focused on Gingerbread for its upcoming line of Xperia phones, including the Xperia Play "PlayStation phone."
The rollout, which will technically be Android 2.3.3, is planned for the end of the second quarter into the third via the company's PC-based upgrade client. At this point, the Xperia X10 is available from carriers and in a version not tied to a specific wireless company, and the Gingerbread update will initially be provided to X10s not tied to a carrier.
"Due to the resources available in this special project, we will focus on delivering trade versions of the software," Sony said. "Regarding possible customized operators kit we will have to get back with more information on this at a later stage."
"We want to be very clear already at this stage on the fact that some of you may not get this upgrade," the company said.
The first phone to run Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the Nexus S, was released in December. Key features in the OS include support for near-field communications (NFC), built-in voice-over-IP calling, faster speed, better power management, more sensors and front-facing cameras.
Still, Xperia X10 phones that are upgraded to Gingerbread will find that some of their features will be lost or altered, Sony said. For example, Gingerbread will include the standard Android camera user interface, so things like face recognition and smile shutter will be lost. Also, the Moxier software will be replaced by native Gingerbread functionality and Mediascape will be replaced by the media experience widgets and music player Sony added to its 2011 phone lineup. Things like DRM keys for protected content and the Sony Ericsson Backup and Restore client will also be deleted, while support for bi-directional languages will be reduced.
"In short, the intention is that the Xperia X10 will receive similar software and functionality that we have in our new 2011 Xperia smartphones," Sony said. "The final scope of the software is still work in progress but we are working to minimize the differences. We will get back with more details closer to launch."
There are no plans to upgrade the Xperia X10 mini, mini pro, and Xperia X8. "We have had to prioritize our resources and have therefore focused on delivering the upgrade to Xperia X10," Sony said.