Sony Ericsson is looking to its customers to help determine which version of Google's Android mobile operating system best suits the company's new Xperia X8 handset.
Two years ago Sony Ericsson was thought to be concerned about Android, and today the vendor confirmed in an email to V3.co.uk that the timing of the Android 2.1 launch had coincided with its own hardware release, leaving it unsure of whether to stick with Android 1.6 or perform a wholesale upgrade.
Although the press release issued for the X8 lists the OS as Android 1.6, Sony Ericsson said it is "currently discussing with our customers the most appropriate way to bring the product to market for each operator in each country ".
"As customer testing has already started in a number of markets it is important that we preserve the robustness of the launch whilst ensuring a compelling user experience," the firm continued.
"Xperia X8 will either launch on Android 1.6 with a subsequent upgrade to Android 2.1 a few weeks later, or will launch on Android 2.1. The final decision will be taken on a market-by-market basis."
The Xperia X8 has a 3in touch screen and includes Sony Ericsson's Timescape tool for keeping on top of social networking commitments.
The inclusion of Android grants access to the ever-growing Android Market application store, and the screen and included 2GB of memory make for a good multimedia viewing experience, according to the firm.
The X8 also includes support for office applications, such as Microsoft Exchange, ActiveSync, location software, GPS and organiser tools.
Timo Maassmann, product marketing manager for Xperia X8, said: "We are delighted to be able to bring the full experience of our Xperia smartphones to new consumers by delivering a fully featured device at a more accessible price point."
The handset supports GSM GPRS/Edge 850/900/1800/1900, UMTS HSPA 900/2100 and UMTS HSPA 800/850/1900/2100, and will be available from the autumn in a range of colours.
Also on Sony Ericsson's agenda is an update to the Xperia X10, which is something of a bigger brother to the X8. This will be upgraded to Android 2.1 in the autumn, and will gain HD video recording features.
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