According to Sony Ericsson CEO Bert Nordberg, Google had asked Sony Ericsson to build the Nexus One prior to approaching HTC for the sourced, but Google-branded Android handset. As we know now, Sony Ericsson refused the offer, possibly due to brand dilution. Sony Ericsson prides itself on its industrial design–the company’s P1 smartphone was an iconic design and the XPERIA series is a marvel. Despite making beautiful hardware, Sony Ericsson’s high-end smartphones have had a tough time in the US due to lack of carrier subsidies, making the prices a little out of reach for most average consumers.
There is credence to Nordberg’s claims against brand dilution–with the XPERIA X1, the company has stated on several different accounts that the hardware was completely designed in-house and that HTC was only the manufacturer of the handset, similar to Apple’s relationship with Foxconn with the iPhone. Those statements were made to address doubts that the XPERIA was actually designed by HTC and branded with Sony Ericsson’s logo.
Sony Ericsson announced several Android handsets at Mobile World Congress–the XPERIA X10 Mini and the XPERIA X10 Pro with a sliding keyboard.