“In developer forums worldwide, there is a huge activity and engagement in the open Android ecosystem. And we also know there are a lot of independent developers out there who are creating their own custom ROMs or modifying the kernel. The Sony Ericsson Developer program is following this community with great interest, and even though Sony Ericsson is not supporting all the activities by independent developers, we recognize that custom ROMs are a part of the Android ecosystem. We therefore decided to assist a group of developers called ‘FreeXperia’. The overall open developer community is important to Sony Ericsson, and we hope to learn from it, and share knowledge ourselves.” On top of that, as far as I know, Soney Ericsson has not yet caved to Microsoft’s extortion campaign, and they haven’t been sued by either Microsoft or Apple either. All this combined makes them an excellent choice for those of us who don’t want support slime ball practices of Microsoft and Apple. Then again – Sony.
Sony Ericsson Supports Independent Developers
About The Author
Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda
2011-09-30 5:26 pmphoenix
Sony is evil, yes. But Sony Ericsson isn’t. At least, not anymore. The Ericsson side is much mellower and easy to work with. They’ve really turned over a new leaf with their move into Android phones.
* Their hardware has been standardised (no more proprietary cables required), it’s all mini-HDMI and micro-USB.
* Their software modifications are less intrusive (TimeScape is now an app, not a full-blown Android modification like TouchWiz UX or Sense UI or MotoBlur).
* Their updates are more timely (2.3.4 in Oct for Xperia 2011 phones; 4.0 in the new year for Xperia 2011 phones; 2.2.something for Xperia 2010 phones).
* They were the first to come out with an unlocking strategy for their boot loader, which HTC and (someone else) have imitated.
* They are actively participating/helping OSS developers improve their Android experience, and get custom ROMs built for their devices (FreeXperia and Cyanogenmod will both be available before Christmas).
Sure, their hardware isn’t the bleeding edge (Xperia 2011 phones are single-core 1 GHz with 512 MB of RAM), but they aren’t crap either.
Skip their phones if you want. But there’s no need to rag on them for something completely separate corporations did.
2011-09-30 6:05 pmzima
Actually that was supposed to be sarcasm – I thought the ridiculous style of exclamation marks would make it clear enough (but then, there are many people who would basically just yell such stuff)
SE phones were always quite open and a nice deal overall. As are many things from Sony (not at all a “completely separate corporation”, they own half of SE and use with SE a few Sony core brands). Generally, they are more sort of a relatively loose consortium, with many divisions almost infighting in the relevant issues (yeah, there’s for example Sony Music and their love for DRM …and then there are Sony digital audio players and SE phones which are generally among most open ones, as are Sony e-readers; or CCD progress and great value of Sony Vegas seemingly benefiting independent film makers who erode old media strongholds). Sony also created or co-created many widely adopted open standards (which, by their nature, are simply less associated with Sony than those which didn’t catch on, remained Sony-exclusive). Then there’s Sony banking arm (which I don’t recall being involved much in recent mess BTW) …I guess one better makes sure any entities you deal with don’t use them, one way or another.
Lots of people “avoiding” Sony don’t seem to even realize how many (most?) areas don’t face consumers. One needs to try quite hard to avoid benefiting (yup…) from the results of Sony efforts and services in electronics or media industries (basic components, display panels both “big” and mobile, CCD sensors, industrial processes / chemicals / manufacturing robots – how many “haters” make sure no new toys they love profit Sony in those ways? Do they avoid any films, music, TV which were made by Sony-owned entities, or on their equipment? And I’m sure I missed some areas)
Edited 2011-09-30 18:19 UTC
2011-09-30 6:09 pmNo it isnt
Yes, the triple-11 was a dead giveaway.
2011-09-30 6:07 pmNo it isnt
The old Xperia phones are still at 2.1, except the flagship X10, which got Gingerbread or 2.3. The old phones still have a locked bootloader as well, but this was recently cracked.
From what I’ve read, Sony Ericsson have published libraries for a few things that were troublesome, like the camera. Which is a good thing, as they are decent camera phones if unspectacular in other areas.
2011-09-30 8:00 pmNeolander
I have a love/hate relationship with Sony. Their management is awful, but some of their products are just great. Like this compact camera I bought for them. It has two defects, the use of MS cards and the terrible proprietary USB wire, but all the rest is awesome.
Minidisc was really illustrative of Sony as a global entity, imo. Pure technological genius, ruined by horrible DRMing behaviour.
Edited 2011-09-30 20:01 UTC
2011-10-07 11:51 pmzima
I have a love/hate relationship with Sony
Aren’t all relationships like that?
Overall, if we are to blame the “awful management” for anything bad …then who watches over the good stuff?
CD, the FDD, Betacam, Video8/Hi8, DAT, DVD, S/PDIF (what do you think “S” means?), miniDV, HDV – all formats from Sony or with their major involvement – why can’t they be “really illustrative of Sony as a global entity”? (just because they caught on, were widely adopted, hence lost the perception “Sony formats, they all fail”?)
And IMHO Minidisc wasn’t that great technically. For most of its time, a very bad balance between cost of its micro-mechanical complexity and possibilities (not hindered much by DRM itself); which brought lack of network effects.
It was just too expensive for most of its era, and at a time when adoption of the CD – an already dominant digital medium – was just revving up in the first place (so that’s what people mostly chose; otherwise, with analogue sources, MD not having much of an advantage over compact cassette)
And when the price became more sensible, it was already becoming obsolete, with flash memory digital audio players all the rage.
Edited 2011-10-07 23:52 UTC
Sorry, Sony – unfortunately, because of your corporate practices, you are on a short list of companies that I am trying to avoid if at all possible… Right up there alongside Apple… Although for those not burdened by any negative sentiment towards Sony, it is definitely a step in the positive direction.
I’m getting an Experia for free (from an upgrading friend) in a couple months. Good to know I can ROM It up!
Don’t let Sony’s awful behaviour get in the way of encouraging them when they do good things. No company, person, entity is 100% evil or 100% good. Reward the good, criticize the wrong.
2011-09-30 5:47 pmfran
so many people just “that’s company is evil…blah”
Most of them don’t even know there retirement funds has shares in tobacco companies for example.
When share prices stagnate or returns decline fund managers and people demand CEO’s and sometimes whole boards to resign. We admire Goodwill in companies but in our personal capacity demand maximum returns on our investments.
Funny, got an xperia phone last week.. (ray). After some horrible phones they got it right. Also is a phone that does not try to be an iPhone.. Love my ray
2011-09-30 8:44 pmJAlexoid
I’d say that SE have been remarkably smooth compared to competition. They did a good job at adapting Android and getting it work incredibly well.
One word: col-fucking-tan.
BTW, note how Sony Ericsson’s website contains a nice PDF about their practices re tantalum. Yeah, I’d trust them on that about as far as I could throw them.
Anyway the upshot is that much of the electronics industry is built on blood and slavery; most people don’t realize it; and most of the big companies in the field are involved in one way or another… Including Sony Ericsson.
2011-10-07 11:58 pmzima
Most people don’t care to know; indulging in consumption feels so much better than such info, which can be more or less blocked (certainly collectively).
With most industries built on such things.
There’s for example one decent docudrama portraying the conditions in SE Asian clothing industry sweatshops, but how many teenage girls obsessed about fashion would care to see it? How many care about from where their shine inexpensive clothes of the month come from?
Or about the recent external influence on Haiti legislative process, so that minimal wages won’t rise too much, so the profits on Levi’s and such would fall few million less, making the shareholders happy…
…shareholders, who are people in the general population, and/or those working on increasing your savings or retirement funds. And when profits aren’t high enough, we demand for CEO or board to resign.
How many looks suspect at the official “we’re the shining beacon of light, what is Good(tm) in the world!” and remembers, say, about the stuff CIA did in “banana republics” to keep them down, corrupt, with oppressive regimes, so the US population can happily have their cheap bananas made by impoverished (hence less reliant on high pays and such in the first place) people?
Generally, all this comes from our societies, is largely a reflection of them; what the society collectively chooses to promote.
As for SE… at least the Ericsson influence might actually make them somewhat better than usual (though Nordic companies seem to fall victim to not thinking about this stuff, the possibilities not occurring to them; for example, my local branch of Tele2, staffed with locals, basically went out of business due to what amounted to fraud …parent company hardly aware, not overseeing thing)
Edited 2011-10-08 00:18 UTC
On top of that, as far as I know, Soney Ericsson has not yet caved to Microsoft’s extortion campaign, and they haven’t been sued by either Microsoft or Apple either. All this combined makes them an excellent choice for those of us who don’t want support slime ball practices of Microsoft and Apple.
Of course, nowdays you can not build a phone, smart or otherwise, without using technology patented by both Nokia and Ericsson. If you want to sell phones you better not get them angry by suing them or they will sue you out of bussines. See what happened when Nokia sued Apple, Apple lost and paid cash and royalties.
I expect that most smartphone manufactures have licenced patends from both of those companies (and several others). Most smartphone makers are not traditional telecom companies and simply don’t have many, if any, patents in that area. Sure they might have nice patents for things like UI and such but it matters little if you can’t connect to the net.
Some of those heads are evil and some are good. At the moment, it looks like one of the good heads is doing the thinking for the cellphone line.
Sony is EVIL!!!!!!!!!111111