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Sony Ericsson: Android Phones May Take Longer Than Expected

By Phil Goldstein

Sony Ericsson's CEO hinted that the company's plans to develop a handset based on Google's Android platform may be slowed, though he said this was due more to questions surrounding Android than the troubled handset maker's own position.

Lost in the headlines of Sony Ericsson's first quarter net loss of $386 million--and 2,000 job cuts--last week were Hideki Komiyama's comments about Sony Ericsson's future regarding Android. "It does require a lot of evaluation, as well as a lot of testing, a lot of acceptance from a consumer viewpoint, and there is still some time to go," Komiyama told Reuters.

Komiyama's comments throw into doubt whether the company will produce an Android handset by the end of this year, as previously expected. Sony Ericsson recently said that it was going to focus on its core competencies, and would leverage the Sony brand and its camera technology for its phones. LG, Motorola and Samsung have all pledged that they will release Android-based phones by the end of the year.

Sony Ericsson joined the Open Handset Alliance, the Google-led consortium of companies committed to Android, in December. Sony Ericsson also partnered with Nokia, Motorola and NTT DoCoMo to found the Symbian Foundation. The company shipped 14.5 million units in the first quarter, down 35 percent from the first quarter of 2008. [FierceWireless]

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