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SonyEricsson debuts Android phone

3 November 09 11:16 GMT

Handset maker SonyEricsson has unveiled its first phone built around Google's Android operating system.

The Xperia X10 has an eight megapixel camera, touch screen, GPS and can use apps from the Android Market or SonyEricsson's Play Now Arena.

The X10, known as Rachel while under development, will go on sale early in the first quarter of 2010.

SonyEricsson said it would be the first of a family of Android-based phones that it will launch over next year.

Market move

SonyEricsson said it had given the phone's user interface an overhaul to help owners organise their use of sites such as Twitter, Facebook as well as e-mail and other messaging applications.

The phone can work with second and third generation mobile networks, including HSPA, as well as wi-fi.

The X10 runs version 1.6 of Android and inside has a 1Ghz Snapdragon processor from US chip firm Qualcomm.

No information has been given on price or the countries where the phone will be available.

SonyEricsson's decision to produce Android-based phones is widely seen as an attempt by the handset maker to win back some market share. For the last three quarters it has reported losses thanks to fierce competition from rivals, in particular Apple's iPhone.

However, analysts said the trailing of the X10 before the key Christmas selling season may harm the prospects of its other phones such as the top- of-the-line Satio.

"I think some consumers will think about waiting until the first quarter to get their hands on the X10 rather than get a Satio for Christmas," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.

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