Sony Ericsson to develop Android-based handset

Sony Ericsson announced its membership in the Google-led Open Handset Alliance industry group, confirming the move signals its intention to develop a device based on Google's Android mobile OS. According to Sony Ericsson, joining the ranks of the Open Handset Alliance complements the handset maker's existing Open OS strategy, which is based on the Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms. Sony Ericsson introduced its first WinMo device, the Xperia X1, earlier this year.

Days after Google formally announced the Open Handset Alliance in November 2007, Sony Ericsson said it was invited to join the group but declined in favor of concentrating on its UIQ interface. At that time, Sony Ericsson's U.K. and Ireland marketing director David Hilton told Pocket-lint the company "had a number of horses it could back and UIQ was the one we chose." However, he said Sony Ericsson had not ruled out a future deal with Google, adding "Never say never." In June, Sony Ericsson announced it would partner with Nokia, Motorola and NTT DoCoMo to establish the Symbian Foundation, a non-profit initiative to unite the UIQ, Symbian OS, S60 and MOAP technologies as part of a single open mobile software platform.

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