We're actually surprised it's taken that long for Sony Ericsson to join China Mobile's TD-SCDMA bandwagon (potentially 554 million accounts!), but as the old Chinese proverb goes: "it's never too late to fix the fence, even if you've already lost a few sheep." The new Ophone 2.0 handset in question is the A8i, which bears much resemblance to the oh-so-popular Xperia X10 (also available in China) except for the smaller 3.5-inch touchscreen, 5 megapixel camera, CMMB mobile TV feature, and the seemingly missing Timescape plus Mediascape apps. No prices announced just yet, but we're told that both the "Titanium Black" and "Shiny White" editions will be heavily subsidized when they come out in October.
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Sony Ericsson Collaborates with China Mobile to Further Strengthen its 'Communication Entertainment' Strategy in the Region

31 August 2010

* Introducing the first handset to support the TD-SCDMA network – the Sony Ericsson A8i
* The Sony Ericsson A8i was developed in collaboration with China Mobile specifically for the Chinese market and runs on the operator's OMS 2.0 smart phone platform

Beijing, China – August 31 2010 – Sony Ericsson today announces that it is strengthening its portfolio in China by launching the first smartphone to support China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network – the Sony Ericsson A8i.

The Sony Ericsson A8i delivers high performance in a stylish form factor. The phone features a 3.5-inch (9 cm) touch screen and incorporates the human curvature design concept that is now consistent across the Sony Ericsson portfolio. The phone benefits comprehensive range of signature applications including TrackID which is linked directly with China Mobile's entertainment download service – giving customers in China access to a wide range of local music.

President & CEO, Sony Ericsson said, "China is a hugely important market for Sony Ericsson and we are committed to maintaining our strong position and driving growth by continually introducing new and exciting products into this market. Today cements that commitment and we are honored to introduce the Sony Ericsson A8i to users across China – enhancing to our already award winning* product line up in the region."

"The Sony Ericsson A8i underpins our commitment to delivering the most entertaining smart phones. By combining the best communication and entertainment experiences on an open platform we are giving our customers the best possible consumer experience."

Huidi Li, Assistant President, China Mobile said, "Demand for Smartphone is on the rise, and our customer's are continually asking us to provide them with innovative, feature-rich products. Working closely with a partner such as Sony Ericsson, allows us to not only meet that need, but go one step further and deliver product and services that enhance overall user experience. The Sony Ericsson A8i is testament to the combined expertise of both companies and the first of its kind to support our TD-SCDMA network. We are proud to be adding this new product into our product portfolio."

Sony Ericsson A8i at a glance:

* High-speed, easy-to-use OMS 2.0 smartphne platform which is fully supported by China Mobile's entertainment services and applications
* Combines a 3.5" touch widescreen with CMMB mobile TV functionality and delivers amazing high-definition visual effects
* Support both TD-SCDMA 3G networks and WLAN connections
* Stylish design featuring the human curvature design concept
* Features Sony Ericsson signature entertainment applications such as TrackID, linked directly with China Mobile's music download service

Legal

© Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, 2010

The Liquid Identity logo, Xperia, PlayNow and TrackID are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB. Sony is a trademark or registered trademark of Sony Corporation. Ericsson is the trademark or registered trademark of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson. Additional information regarding trademarks may be located on our website at: www.sonyericsson.com/cws/common/legal/disclaimer.

Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved. All terms are subject to change without prior notice.

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, SE-221 88 Lund, Sweden.

*Awards received in China include:

* 2010, XPERIA™ X10i awarded the Best Worthy Expected 3G Flagship Smartphone in China Market by People.com.cn
* 2009, W595c awarded Best Music Phone of 2009 and Sony Ericsson as Most Fashionable Phone Brand by Southern Weekly Magazine

Sony Ericsson is a 50:50 joint venture by Sony and Ericsson established in October 2001, with global corporate functions located in London and operations in all major markets. Sony Ericsson vision is to become the industry leader in Communication Entertainment; where new styles of communicating through the internet and social media, become entertainment. Sony Ericsson offers exciting consumer experiences through phones, accessories, content and applications. For more information please visit, www.sonyericsson.com.

Sony Ericsson A8i:

Camera

* 5 megapixel camera
* 4x digital zoom
* Auto focus
* Geo tagging
* Photo flash
* Photo light
* Touch focus
* Video recording
* LED flash

Music

* Bluetooth™ stereo (A2DP)
* Media player
* Music player
* Music tones (MP3/AAC)
* TrackID™ application

Web

* Bookmarks
* Pan & zoom
* Web search (from standby)
* HTML 4.01
* XHTML 1.1

Communication

* Call list
* Conference calls
* Polyphonic ringtones
* Speakerphone
* Vibrating alert
* Video calling

Messaging

* Conversations
* Email
* Microsoft® Exchange Active-
* Sync®
* Handwriting recognition
* Instant messaging
* Picture messaging (MMS)
* Predictive text input
* Sound recorder
* Text messaging (SMS)
* Unified messaging

Design

* Auto rotate
* Light sensor
* Torch
* OMS 2.0
* Picture wallpaper
* Proximity sensor
* Touchscreen

Entertainment

* eCompass™
* FM radio
* Java™
* Media browser
* Video streaming
* Video viewing

Organiser

* Alarm clock
* Calculator
* Calendar
* Dictionary
* Document readers
* eManual
* Flight mode
* Notes
* Phone book
* Tasks

Connectivity

* 3.5 mm audio jack
* aGPS
* Bluetooth™ technology
* Modem
* Micro USB
* Synchronisation
* USB mass storage
* USB High speed 2.0 support
* WLAN

Screen

* 3.5 inches
* 854x480 pixels
* 262,144 colour TFT

Accessories

* In-Box:
* Sony Ericsson A8i
* Battery
* stereo portable handsfree
* Charger
* User documentation

Facts 1)2)

* Size: 117 x 59 x 14 mm
* Weight: 136 grams
* Phone memory: Up to 200 MB
* Memory card support: microSD, up to 32GB
* Talk time GSM/GPRS*: 5 hours
* Talk time (TD-SCDMA)*: 7 hours 30 min*
* Standby time GSM/GPRS*: 260 hours
* Standby time (TD-SCDMA)*: 260 hours
* *Typical according to GSM Association Battery Life Measurement Technique

Availability and versions

* Networks
* TD 2010-2025 band, TD 1880-1920 band
* GSM GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900
* Available in selected markets from Q4 2010

Colour

* White
* Black

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Sony Ericsson announces China-bound A8i Ophone: its first-ever TD-SCDMA smartphone