The troubled and seemingly at odds with itself Sony Ericsson has today attempted to shift the spotlight away from rumours the partnership may be crumbling by releasing an SDK for its much hyped Xperia X1 smartphone.
The news follows comments from Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer to DieWelt last week saying, "It's certainly been a difficult year but buying out a partner is never an easy thing... "We have to work together again as we did two years ago. Or the joint venture will have to find its own solution."
While the move would be understandable given recent poor financial results it would also seem premature (as Stringer is suggesting) since most handset makers are suffering from the Credit Crunch with their higher-end, more profitable models generally seen as luxury goods. Besides, it is unlikely Sony or Ericsson individually could make a much better job of things in this famously cut throat market.
So onto the more promising news: an official SDK (Software Developers' Kit) has been released for the Xperia X1. With Windows Mobile 6.1 running in the background that would seem somewhat unnecessary but in actuality the kit allows developers to create customised, interactive panels for the handset's innovative (if currently very laggy, in my experience) 'Panel UI'.
Should it prove a hit then the X1's 3in WVGA display (800 x 480 pixels), physical Qwerty keyboard, aGPS, WiFi and HSDPA connectivity could sell itself and Sony and Ericsson may just start playing nice together again. That said, they're clearly fast approaching a crossroads...