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Android 2.1 finally comes to Xperia X10 in U.S.

Sony Ericsson announces that the update to the Eclair version of the Android OS is launching in the U.S.--six months later than previously promised.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson is launching the Android 2.1 "Eclair" upgrade to Xperia X10 devices running on the AT&T network in the U.S., the handset maker announced today.

Owners of the device, which boasts a 4-inch touch screen, a 1GHz processor, and an 8-megapixel camera, will be able to access the upgrade today. With the upgrade, the phone records video in 720p, offers multitouch support, gets facial detection in video capture, and increases the number of available home screens from three to five.

In order to update the Xperia X10, users will need to download a PC Companion application to get the process started. From there, they'll need to plug their devices into their computers and start the update. According to the company's Web site, the update will take about 30 minutes to complete.

The addition of Android 2.1 to the Xperia X10 comes rather late. Many other devices are already running the newer Android 2.2 (Froyo). There are even some running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).

The issue of fragmentation in the Android ecosystem has been a hot-button issue ever since new updates started to emerge. Some devices get the new versions of the operating system quickly, while owners of other platforms, including the Xperia X10, are forced to wait and wait for vendors to offer updates.

According to a chart on the Android developers' page, Android 2.2 currently runs on nearly 66 percent of Android-based devices on the market. Android 2.1 is running on 24.5 percent of devices. Android 2.3 is available on 4 percent. There are still even some devices running Android 1.6 and Android 1.5.

On a related note, the update didn't take quite so long across the pond. In October, Sony Ericsson announced the Android 2.1 for update European customers.

At the time, the company promised that North American owners would get the update by the end of November.

The Xperia X10 on AT&T's network is selling for $49.99 with a two-year commitment and online discount.