Sony Ericsson Introduces Water-Proof Phone

Sony Ericsson introduced the Xperia Ray and Active, two high-end Android smartphones, including one that’s water-proof, as the company looks to turnaround its struggling handset business.

The Japanese-Swedish joint venture said the Ray is an upscale device with a sleek design and an aluminium chassis. It features a 3.3-inch touch screen display and packs in an impressive 8.1-megapixel camera with 16x zoom, as well as face and smile detection and 720p HD video recording.

Meanwhile, the Active is geared toward users with active lifestyles. The phone is built to withstand dust and water, allowing consumers to use devices in less-than-perfect conditions. The 3-inch touch screen can also handle wet or sweaty hands. It also features apps to monitor heart rate and pulse.

The pricing and availability of the devices will be announced at a later date.

“Android smartphones is a rapidly growing part of the market, and we see our share within that market growing,” said Steve Walker, Sony Ericsson’s chief marketing officer, to the AP.

The company hopes the two new devices boost its current 11 per cent market share of the Android platform.

The beleaguered handset maker, which has seen its sales drop 23 per cent in the first quarter alone, compared to a year ago, is now looking to move to more mid-to-high end phones rather than low-end devices.

In addition, Sony Ericsson plans to focus on the Asia-Pacific region, where, according to Walker, by 2015, 60 per cent of mobile phones sold in the market will be smartphones.

“We made quite a fundamental shift in strategy and decided to focus a large part of our efforts into smartphones, to focus on the mid- and high-end part of the business,” Walker said. “In many markets, we see a dramatic shift from feature phones to smartphones.”

Sony Ericsson seems primed to make a strong impression in the high-end smartphone market, especially now with the backing of the popular Android operating system.

The company said smartphones accounted for more than 60 per cent of sales during the first quarter of 2011.

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