I just wanted to answer a couple of questions that have kept popping up in the past couple of days regarding Sony and its new Android devices announced at CES. Just to be clear, Sony Ericsson still exists. For now at least.
A number of people have wondered why some hands-on videos have an Xperia S with Sony Ericsson branding and others have just Sony. I asked the same question earlier because at the AT&T Dev Summit, the same thing happened with the Xperia Ion. I asked multiple at multiple Sony events and got the same answer: we’re not officially Sony yet.
It’s important to remember that Sony’s acquisition of Ericsson’s stake in their joint partnership still require regulatory approval. Just because Sony wants to take over the company and has taken the steps to make it happen doesn’t yet make it official. However, it’s expected to be approved soon, said one Sony executive on stage at a mixer, so Sony is moving ahead with plans to take over its mobile operations. Unless a phone is slated for release prior to regulatory approval, upcoming phones will have the Sony branding. (The Xperia S and Ion will be the first such devices.)
That’s the skinny of it, but who really cares about a name (other than the people who asked)? What’s most important is that Sony says the Xperia Ion and Xperia can expect the Timescape-flavored upgrade to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) soon. Sony said at a media mixer going on now that it estimates the arrival time at late Q1 2012 (Feburary-March) or early Q2 (April-May). The update times may differ across region because of carrier requirements. Both devices with launch with a custom version of Android Gingerbread.