Great news for the Xperia 10 users. After SE announced that this phone would not get more updates (the last one was Android 2.1), they have now made it public that they will deliver Gingerbread in a near future. Read the full declarations after the break.
This is the official statement by SonyEricsson:
I have been working with this blog for almost 1 ½ years. After lots of interaction and discussion, by far the most intense discussions lately were around XperiaTM X10 Android upgrades. We earlier stated that we did not have plans for further upgrade of the XperiaTM X10 beyond Android 2.1 Éclair, which was correct at the time.
However, I am happy to inform you that this has changed. We plan to bring an upgrade to Android Gingerbread for the XperiaTM X10 to generic trade kits end Q2 / early Q3 this year. We have heard your requests all along but until today have not been able to confirm this. The great work on our 2011 products XperiaTM PLAY, XperiaTM arc and XperiaTM neo actually has enabled us to start the work in a special project bringing Gingerbread to the XperiaTM X10.
I believe this is good news to many of you out there and I am sure you have many questions around this. I’ve tried to list answers to the ones that came to my mind below. More details will come closer to launch but let me know in the comments section if I missed any questions. I’ll do my very best to find out and follow-up!
Why are you doing this upgrade?
We have listened to our consumers. In addition, the development of the software for our new 2011 range of Xperia phones gave us a solution that made it possible to deliver Gingerbread on XperiaTM X10.
When will the upgrade be available for me?
The roll-out is planned to start end Q2/early Q3 this year. Today, XperiaTM X10 is available in the market both in generic trade version and in versions customized for operators. Due to the resources available in this special project, we will focus on delivering trade versions of the software. Regarding possible customized operators kit we will have to get back with more information on this at a later stage. But we want to be very clear already at this stage on the fact that some of you may not get this upgrade.
What are the components of this upgrade and what are the major differences from the 2.1 version of XperiaTM X10?
In short, we plan to bring similar software and functionality to XperiaTM X10 as we have in our new 2011 Xperia smartphones. Our ambition is to provide the majority of functionality of the Gingerbread platform, as well as the Sony Ericsson specific User Experience and features. The final scope of the software is still a work in progress. We will get back with more details closer to launch in end Q2 / early Q3 this year.
Will any functionality from the previous software version disappear by doing this upgrade?
Yes – the work is still ongoing so details will be communicated closer to launch but these are the current expected limitations:
- The current plan is that the XperiaTM X10 will get the Android standard Camera user interface and therefore features like e.g. face recognition, smile shutter etc will be lost.
- Moxier is replaced by the gingerbread native EAS functionality.
- Mediascape is being replaced by the media experience widgets and music player included in our new 2011 products.
- DRM keys for protected content on your phone will be lost in the upgrade process.
- The Sony Ericsson Backup and Restore client is not supported in the Gingerbread version and will therefore be lost.
- Support for bi-directional languages will be reduced compared to the latest version of the 2.1 version of the XperiaTM X10.
What are the major differences between 2.3 on XperiaTM X10 and 2.3 on your 2011 range, for example Xperia arc?
In short, the intention is that the Xperia X10 will receive similar software and functionality that we have in our new 2011 Xperia smartphones. The current ambition is to provide the majority of functionality of the Gingerbread platform, as well as the Sony Ericsson specific UI and features that are not restricted by hardware limitations (for example no HDMI out). The final scope of the software is still work in progress but we are working to minimize the differences. We will get back with more details closer to launch.
How do I get this upgrade?
The upgrade will only be available through our PC-based upgrade clients. I.e. it cannot be done over the air.
Can I go back to the 2.1 version if I am not happy with the upgrade?
No – our upgrade solutions do not support downgrading.
Will I lose any content or settings by doing the upgrade?
Yes – All your personal content and settings stored in the phone will be lost in the process. You will have to make sure that you have stored your information somewhere else. Note that the Sony Ericsson Backup and Restore client will not be included in the Gingerbread version, therefore we recommend using a 3rd party backup application if you don’t have your data stored in other places than your phone. Content stored on your memory card is not affected by the upgrade, except DRM protected content since keys will be lost.
Why have you stated before that the 2.1 version would be the final upgrade to the XperiaTM X10?
We didn’t plan to upgrade XperiaTM X10 beyond Android version 2.1 and our communication reflected this. However, that plan changed but we didn’t want to communicate this until we were sure that we would be able to deliver a good user experience with Gingerbread on XperiaTM X10.
Why didn’t you inform about this upgrade until now?
As a company we strive to be as open as possible in channels such as this product blog. We have been focusing on delivering our 2011 Xperia products on the latest Android platform for smartphones. In parallel we have investigated what of those efforts could be re-used for an upgrade of the Xperia X10. Our ambition all along has been to inform about this as soon as we concluded that we could deliver a good user experience with Gingerbread on XperiaTM X10, which we now feel confident we can do.
Why did you bypass the 2.2 upgrade?
Our focus has been on Gingerbread. The work we have been doing on Gingerbread for our products launching in 2011 has given us a solution that made it possible to deliver Gingerbread on XperiaTM X10.
Will you upgrade the XperiaTM X10 mini, mini pro and XperiaTM X8 to 2.3?
No, we have no such plans. We have had to prioritize our resources and have therefore focused on delivering the upgrade to XperiaTM X10.
Will you continue to upgrade XperiaTM X10 beyond Gingerbread 2.3?
Is the upgrade based on Android version 2.3.2 or 2.3.3?
The XperiaTM X10 Gingerbread release will be released on Android 2.3.3
What about upgrades for your new phones like Xperia PLAY, arc, neo and pro. Will users be able to upgrade to newer versions of Android when they become available?
The XperiaTM PLAY, arc, neo and pro are launched on the latest version of Android for smartphones (Gingerbread 2.3) and we plan to upgrade these to the next version of Android (beyond 2.3) available to us, subject to the Google/Android roadmap. And even if it is too early to give detailed comments around later Android upgrades for future products, the changes we have made to our way of working with Android puts us in a good position to provide Android upgrades in a timely manner.