New breed of 'superphones' coming?

A rumored device from Sony could raise the stakes in the smartphone market.

By Kim Peterson Dec 22, 2011 1:56PM
We're just weeks from the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the best new products for the coming year are often unveiled.

One hot subject undoubtedly will be the next generation in mobile phones: bigger and far more advanced. Sony (SNE) is thought to be making a splash in the U.S. soon with a device it calls its "superphone."

The phone is heading to AT&T (T) and is tentatively named the LT28at (although a new name is all but guaranteed), according to Xperia. And it sounds like a monster, with a 4.55-inch screen and a 13-megapixel camera sensor with LED flash. There's a 720-pixel front-facing camera as well. The phone will be based on the Android platform developed by Google (GOOG).

It also represents a rebirth of sorts for Sony Ericsson, which will soon drop Ericsson from its name and put its focus into developing Android smartphones. Even with one of the best-known brands in the world, Sony has only a 2% share of the global handset market, the Times of India reports. The company made a series of bad decisions and lost a lot of ground to the iPhone.

Sony also made a bad bet on the Symbian mobile operating system, which it ditched for Android last year. Android has become a giant in the smartphone business, surpassing even Apple (AAPL) in global market share. Sony dipped its toe into the water with its Android-based Xperia line and was so pleased it's moving full speed ahead with new Android phones.

Its new superphone reportedly has LTE support, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability and dual microphones. "The specs are a sign that next year’s round of Android smartphones will be all about big, high-resolution screens and excellent cameras, a standard set by the Galaxy Nexus," writes MobileBeat.

Sony isn't saying anything officially about the phone yet. Perhaps we'll see more details come out of the CES event in January. At any rate, look for a new generation of flashy, powerful phones in 2012.

Dec 22, 2011 10:23PM
The next evolution will be phones even more like tablets than they already are.  Sounds like Sony is working in that direction.
Dec 22, 2011 4:32PM
Android is not a phone so I guess you are saying the android operating system, on dozens of manufacturer's phones, beat one company: Apple. 
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