Sony Ericsson's X8 Will Get Android 2.1 Before Year End

Owners of Sony Ericsson's Xperia X8 will get an upgrade to Android version 2.1 before the end of the year, a company spokesman said on Monday.

The company will present more details about the upgrade in the near future, he said. Today, the Xperia X8 is based on version 1.6 of Google's OS.

On Sunday, Sony Ericsson started distributing an upgrade to Android version 2.1 for its other Android-based smartphones: the Xperia X10, X10 mini and X10 mini pro.

The Xperia X8 is one of a growing number of cheaper Android-based smartphones, and costs about €200 (US$280) before subsidies. It started shipping in the beginning of October, and comes with a 3-inch display, a 3.2-megapixel camera and navigation using A-GPS (Assisted-GPS).

In the third quarter, Sony Ericsson ranked as the sixth largest phone manufacturer in the world, according to IDC. It is the first time the company, which has been passed by Apple as well as Research in Motion, isn't in the top five since IDC conceived its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker in 2004.

However, Sony Ericsson reported a third-quarter net profit of €49 million, compared to a loss of €164 million a year earlier and a profit of €12 million in the previous quarter, and it has Android to thank for the turnaround, the company said.

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