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Sony Ericsson to build Android phone: Vendor will continue support for Windows Mobile, Symbian

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications has joined the Open Handset Alliance in support of Google Inc.’s Android platform, the handset vendor said today.
ARM, the British semiconductor designer, also announced its membership in the OHA today.
Sony Ericsson will produce a handset running the license-free, Linux-based operating system, while continuing its strategy of using both Windows Mobile and Symbian for its smartphone lines, the company said.
(Symbian will soon be a license-free, open-source OS, as is Android. Windows Mobile remains a proprietary OS licensed by Microsoft Corp.)
With SEMC’s involvement, four of the five top global handset vendors have joined the OHA – only Nokia Corp. has chosen to not pursue the Android platform. Instead, Nokia has taken ownership of the Symbian OS and will offer it as an open-source, license-free platform to other handset vendors.
That effort may well pay dividends in the United States market, where Nokia has faltered. Last week, AT&T Mobility executives said that the carrier will focus on a single smartphone OS and that may be Symbian.
In related news, Sony Corp. – one of SEMC’s two parents – said today it would cut 8,000 full-time jobs and another 8,000 part-time and seasonal workers and eliminate several investments, including semiconductors related to image sensors for mobile phones.
Meantime, Brightstar Corp. has been named the global distributor for an unlocked, Android Dev Phone aimed at developers creating applications for the platform.


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