Update: Inquires to Ericsson and Sony Ericsson have put them on-record stating they have no plans to bring this phone to the United States at this time. However, at one point, they did. Discussion with former Sony Ericsson US CDMA team members has revealed that they had begun plans to bring the W21S to the US over a year ago.
Sony Ericsson has unveiled their first EV-DO phone, the W21S. What’s special about this phone is that it falls in line feature-wise with Sprint’s future EV-DO phones.
The W21S has a Qualcomm MSM6500, memory card slot (miniSD), QCamera, and QTunes (MP3 Recording that will be in future EV-DO phones here). USB, GPSOne and J2ME support are all implemented.
Now, where does Sprint get most of its phones from? Oh, that’s right, most of Sprint’s phones start off as KDDI units in Japan and then migrate over to the US (usually getting some minor changes in form-factor along the way). And while Sony Ericsson has been producing phones for KDDI that are identical to Video Mail units (oh, and they double as TV remotes), it hasn’t made much sense to target a CDMA market with phones from both U.S. and Japanese units of one company.
Does this mean that Sony Ericsson is headed back to CDMA in the US? No, but would anyone have believed that a year ago that SE would have a phone that had all the functionality in-line with Sprint’s future EV-DO series of phones, and simply needed minor changes to be sold in the US?