Posts Tagged ‘Sony Ericsson Xperia X10’

Did AT&T Already Ax the Xperia X10?

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

AT&T logo

There have been rumors that AT&T is planning to ax the Xperia X10 as of March 6. Axing it before even giving it a chance. It appears that AT&T may have jumped the gun a bit, as the Xperia X10 is no longer shown on the AT&T site. See the image below for the current Android offerings.

The Motorola Backflip, also expected to get the ax, is shown as out of stock. The Samsung Captivate is also out of stock, but more likely due to AT&T’s better marketing efforts for the device. As you can see, the Xperia X10 is nowhere to be found. Not even refurbished.

AT&T customers who bought an Xperia X10 have received virtually no support for the device. While the world enjoyed Eclair and two subsequent upgrades, AT&T customers are still stuck with Android 1.6. Considering the speculative March 6 end date, it would seem that AT&T never intended to offer Eclair for its customers. Those customers are going to be stuck for the next year and a half as AT&T finally starts focusing on Android and leaves the early adopters behind. With Mobile World Congress occurring next week, it is possible we will see the Xperia Arc or Xperia Play making their way towards AT&T. If that happens, there will be a lot of disappointed customers at AT&T – more than the usual amount.

AT&T has left Xperia owners no choice but to de-brand and upgrade the software themselves. De-branding alone gets rid of all the AT&T bloatware, and the phone is noticeably faster. Add Eclair to the phone, and things get even better. XDA has everything you need. You can even upgrade to beta builds of Froyo, or alpha builds of Gingerbread. There are a lot of people at XDA committed to giving us the most our phones can offer. Be sure to check out the site when you are ready to enjoy the phone that AT&T doesn’t want you to have.

AT&T is going to learn a valuable lesson this year. Poor customer service is bad for business. We’ll see the first wave when people start switching to Verizon for their iPhone fix. Next, the Android customers will be forced to de-brand their phones in order to get timely updates. Hopefully this will be enough of a wake up call that things will change at AT&T. I am not holding my breath though. I am really enjoying Froyo on my Xperia X10. I welcome you to join me.

Eclair the End of the Road for Xperia X10

Friday, January 7th, 2011

In a couple of official communications from Sony Ericsson through the Product Launch Blog and Twitter, the Xperia X10 is not going to see Froyo or any other Android version. Here is the reasoning behind the decision, according to the Product Launch blog:

“First – As a clarification regarding the current Xperia products – We are planning another upgrade to bring new features (such as for example multi-touch for Xperia X10) to the current family of Xperia™ smartphones in Q1 2011. However, at this stage those plans do not include updating the underlying Android version.

This decision is based on that we believe that with the current hardware platform an overhaul of the underlying core OS wouldn’t drastically improve the user experience.
We believe that the current Xperia range on Android 2.1 coupled with our proprietary upgrades and unique hardware delivers a user experience that is on par with, and in many cases better than, a vanilla installation of Android 2.2.

Our priority right now is to keep enhancing the user experience of the existing products through coming updates and to deliver a fantastic range of smartphones in 2011 that are all on the latest possible version of Android – that is a target we are determined to hit!”
Rikard Skogberg, Sony Ericsson

I believe the multi-touch he is referring to is the pinch-zoom feature, and not actual multi-touch. It would probably help Sony Ericsson if he really did mean multi-touch though, as there are many vocal fans of multi-touch among the Xperia X10’s owners. That update is supposed to be released some time this quarter.

The argument for not upgrading Android is that it would not “drastically improve the user experience.” This sentiment is also expressed by the SonyEricssonUK team on Twitter. See the image below for their quote.

As a long time fan and user of Ericsson and subsequently Sony Ericsson phones, I have to respectfully disagree with the party line on this one. Yes, Timescape is pretty cool. Yes, Mediascape has potential to be at least semi-useful. Yes, my de-branded and rooted 2.1 upgrade makes my phone run a lot faster than the bloated AT&T version with 1.6. No, these do not make a better phone than stock Froyo or Gingerbread.

With Froyo comes things like saving apps to the SD card, Google Earth, Flash 10.1, and Google Voice Actions, to name a few. Froyo comes with improved processing speeds as well. While I am confident that Timescape will work much better on Gingerbread on the Xperia Arc, it is a bit laggy on 2.1 on the Xperia X10. It’s pretty, and it is better than the 1.6 version, but it takes a long time to load updates.

Having just bought my Xperia X10 in August, I am not going to be eligible for an upgrade for a long while. Having held onto my Sony Ericsson Walkman phone long after its prime, I was really looking forward to being able to keep renewing my X10 as the OS improved. This is a little disappointing. I do like the Arc, but I waited so long for the X10 I wanted to hang on to it for a while.

Will I stop buying Sony Ericsson phones like many of the irate X10 owners? No. There’s a reason I buy Sony Ericsson. That reason hasn’t changed. I really hope 2011 is the year mistakes are learned from though. It would be nice to see Sony Ericsson succeed this year. Upgrading the X10 would have helped.

AT&T Not Upgrading Xperia Any Time Soon

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

The Sony Ericsson Facebook page has been updated to address the Eclair upgrade for AT&T customers. The bottom line shouldn’t surprise most of us – it isn’t coming soon. AT&T has refused to comment on the issue, so it was good for Sony Ericsson to explain the issue in a public forum like Facebook.

The reason for the delay make sense, even if it is disappointing. For one, AT&T got the phone last, so the upgrade will roll out in a similar manner. We had hoped to see a bit more good will from AT&T considering the long wait, but our hopes were in vain. AT&T has no interest in serving its customers.

The second reason for a long delay is that AT&T (and FCC?) requires exhaustive testing prior to launch. This was the same reason given for the delay of the Xperia itself. AT&T needs to get over itself at this point and let this upgrade through. AT&T should also inform its employees about what is going on. This is not AT&T’s strong point though.

At some point in the distant future AT&T will get around to upgrading the Xperia OS to Eclair. Hopefully this will be before Honeycomb comes out. Given AT&T’s history, don’t hold your breath. Considering the fact that I will likely be eligible for an upgrade before Eclair comes to AT&T I think it is time to take a serious look at the XDA option. I was really hoping it wouldn’t come to that. I am probably going to hold out a bit longer, but many AT&T customers have already flashed to the Nordic kit to get Eclair early. It comes down to how comfortable you are taking control of your phone.

Perhaps when AT&T sees even its most cautious customers diving into alternatives it will get the hint. The Xperia is my sole tie to AT&T currently. Should Sony Ericsson make a non-GSM Android phone I will be more than happy to move on. If you decide to root, good luck. If not, let’s hope the wait isn’t really as long as it seems. Sony Ericsson will be posting updates to its dedicated Facebook tab. You can find the page here.