In a rather surprising move, Microsoft Corporation and Sony Ericsson have teamed up to deliver a new Windows Mobile phone, the XPERIA X1. Could this be the beginning of Microsoft's plans to fight the iPhone's success? To be introduced in the second half of 2008, XPERIA X1 is the first phone in Sony Ericsson's new XPERIA sub-brand that reflects "a premium experience of energized communication." The device is a stand-out, arc slider phone with a 3-inch wide VGA display and a full QWERTY keyboard within a metal-finish body.
The X1 means that all the world's top handset makers apart from Nokia, which dominates with a 40% market share, will now have Windows Mobile devices. It is still unclear whether the whole XPERIA product line will run Windows Mobile. Pieter Knook, Microsoft's senior vice president of Mobile Communications Business, summarized the collaboration by saying:
People should be able to have phones that deliver what they need throughout the day and stay connected with today's broad array of on-demand information and entertainment no matter where they are. Our shared vision with Sony Ericsson is to make the concept of 'One Phone for Your Life' a reality and finally give consumers the freedom of true mobility.
The XPERIA X1 features are advertised like so:
XPERIA panel interface: Enjoy access to different experiences - Web, multimedia, applications - from your desktop. Navigate with the tip of your finger. Configure and have your XPERIA™ panels just the way you want them.
Multiple navigation: XPERIA™ X1 lets you interact with your phone in different ways. Touch, full QWERTY keyboard, 4-way key and optical joystick navigation. Switch seamlessly between operation modes.
Arc slider design: The arc design gives a distinct and unique feel. Slide the screen upwards to reveal the wide-pitch QWERTY keyboard. Ample distance between keys makes writing fast and easy.
Ultimate mobile experience: With Windows Mobile, the highest data transfer rate (HSDPA/HSUPA) and WiFi support, you can enjoy your favorite entertainment and work efficiently on the move. Mobile access to everything that is important to you. A GPS gives you the freedom to explore the world. XPERIA X1 is a premium mobile experience.
Now the only thing that's left to get you excited are some pictures and a rather peculiar video. I think the iPhone just might have a worthy competitor; expect the term "iPhone-killer" to be thrown around a lot when it comes to this one.