Sony Ericsson pays the price for being late

In the good old day, companies could delay the launch of a mobile phone while you sorted out minor problems.

However, Sony Ericsson is discovering that the market now is moving too fast and that if you don’t shove stuff out quickly enough, you will be find yourself shipping stuff which will be so out of date, it will make shoulder pads look like cutting edge fashion.

Four months ago, Sony Ericsson was showing off its Xperia X8 Android phones and everyone thought that it was a pretty reasonable effort. However it delayed the launch of the beast while it sorted out some teething problems and suddenly it is trying to flog the same geriatric lemon that you often find in the bottom of the veggie bin in your fridge.

The Xperia X8, Sony “features” Android 1.6. Say no more. To be fair the handset maker tells us it will be upgrading to Android 2.1, however Sony has made promises like that before and left users waiting. Besides why pay for 1.6 when you can get 2.1 from a rival.

The smart phone features a 600MHz processor when most of the rest of the industry has 1GHz and is thinking of 1.5GHz. It has a three inch capacitive HVGA display which many will find too small and a 3.2MP camera when 5MP is standard. It also has a dismal 128MB of on-board storage.

OK, we might not be being fair here. It is supposed to be the “most affordable” Android phone released by Sony Ericsson. It is going to hit the shops at 200 Euro. Sony Ericsson is clearly trying to target a different part of the market.

But for roughly the same dosh users will probably be looking at an HTC Evo 4G with an 8MP camera with HD-video-recording capabilities with a 4.3-inch touch screen and a 1GHz Snapdragon processor with Android 2.1.

It seems that it is the price of blinking in the mobile market these days.