Xperia Play not exclusive to Verizon

Posted by Mike Luttrell

If you were dying to get your hands on a new Xperia Play phone from Sony Ericsson, the device many are simply calling the "Playstation phone," but don't have or want Verizon's expensive service? Good news - it will be coming to other carriers.

Sony Ericsson CTO Jan Uddenfeldt said in an interview with FierceWireless.com that while he is excited about the company's partnership with Verizon, it isn't an exclusivity partnership like AT&T signed onto with the iPhone.... not that we're saying the Xperia Play will be anything like the iPhone.

That news doesn't come as a total surprise. Sony Ericsson is based in Europe, where the mobile network standard known as GSM dominates. As a result, almost all of the company's previous handsets have only used GSM carriers, which Verizon is not.

Sony Ericsson is able to make phones for European carriers and easily ship them over to the US for T-Mobile and AT&T, which do run on GSM networks. The decision to even make the Xperia Play compatible with Verizon in the first place is quite a surprise, and shows that Sony wants this phone on the most widely available provider in the US even if it does mean more manufacturing work.

Nevertheless, for its European release, Sony Ericsson will have to make a GSM version of the Play, so it only makes sense that it would tap AT&T and/or T-Mobile as well.

In the same interview, Uddenfeldt assured consumers that Sony Ericsson is committed to keeping its products as up-to-date as possible, and said he knows how important it is to make sure Android updates are programmed and set for its devices as soon as they're available.

The Xperia Play will launch this spring, only on Verizon for now, with Android Gingerbread pre-installed.