HELSINKI: Handset maker Sony Ericsson has taken the wraps off its new flagship mobile; the first one to be built around Google's Android operating system.

The Xperia X10 - to be known as 'Rachel' while under development - will go on sale in the first quarter of next year and will be followed by an entire family of Android-based models.

'Rachel' has a four-inch touch screen, an eight megapixel camera and can work with second and third generation mobile networks, including HSPA, as well as wi-fi.

Price and distribution details are so far unavailable.

Although analysts fear that yesterday's announcement may harm the sales of Sony Ericsson's top-end Satio product; which went on sale last month, the firm is said to be keen to build consumer excitement over the Android innovation.

Says Carolina Milanesi, analyst with Gartner: "I think some consumers will think about waiting until the first quarter to get their hands on an X10 rather than get a Satio for Christmas."

"It was a difficult call to make trying not to negatively impact products like the Satio...while at the same time announce something that will persuade consumers not to go to another brand." 

Loss-making Sony Ericsson; still the world's fourth largest handset maker, saw Q3 sales this year shrink by 45%.



Data sourced from Reuters; additional content by WARC staff