Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Android phone owners are in for some bad news. The company has delayed the rollout of the upgrade to Android 2.1 version of the operating system for Xperia phones in the U.S.
Instead of updating existing devices–the Xperia X10, Xperia X10 mini and Xperia X10 mini pro–to Android 2.1 at the end of September, Xperia owners will get new features added at the end of October and onwards.
“We are, of course, not happy about the change of launch timing but we have had to spend some additional time on the software to really makes sure we roll-out with the right quality and user experience,” says Sony Ericsson on its product blog.
The move is yet another example of how Sony Ericsson’s Android plans have been plagued by delays.
Despite the beautiful hardware Sony Ericsson’s phones have never enjoyed the same level of popularity in the U.S. as the company’s rivals. Last year, Sony Ericsson turned to Android in the hope that it would more effectively compete in the smartphones market. But it has been slow to bring Android devices to market.
Sony Ericsson worked for months on creating a skin for Android called UXP. The UXP skin brought in features such as Timescape that collects social networking feeds and presents them in a card-like view. It added a recommendation engine for music and a widget to access photos and video.
Though it was attractive, the user interface significantly delayed Sony Ericsson’s launch of Android phones. In August, the Xperia X10 debuted on the AT&T network for $150 with a two-year contract. The Xperia X10 launched with version 1.6 of the Android OS, as did the X10 mini and X10 mini pro.
Clearly, that version of the OS is extremely outdated and Sony Ericsson is trying to fix it with its latest update.
With its upcoming rollout, the company plans to offer Xperia users features such as HD video recording with continuous auto-focus, five homescreens for apps, widgets, shortcuts and folders and social phonebook that automatically syncs contact pictures from Facebook and shows when your friends are online.
Almost all of these features are already standard on most Android phones.
Sony Ericsson is struggling to catch up and along the way, Xperia users are finding themselves without the most current software and features. Even with the upcoming update, Xperia users won’t be on the latest Android platform. Current Xperia models are unlikely to see Android 2.2 Froyo for a very long time.