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Xperia X10 in line for Android 2.3 Gingerbread update says Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson said last year that its Xperia X10 Android smart phone would stick at version 2.1. Now it's changed its mind, although it's possible operator-sold handsets won't get it.

Got an Xperia X10? You're stuck with the Android 2.1 Eclair software, with Sony Ericsson announcing last year that future updates to Google's OS would not be pushed out to the device. But prepare to shout hallelujah and kiss random strangers in the street: the company has changed its mind.

"We plan to bring an upgrade to Android Gingerbread for the Xperia X10 to generic trade kits end Q2/early Q3 this year," writes Rikard Skogberg on Sony Ericsson's official product blog. "We have heard your requests all along but until today have not been able to confirm this. The great work on our 2011 products Xperia Play, Xperia arc and Xperia neo actually has enabled us to start the work in a special project bringing Gingerbread to the Xperia X10."

That's good news for owners of what's been a very popular Android handset, who'd been told to expect to see their phones frozen in mid-2010 software while other devices released around the same time got the benefit of updates. But wait: there's one rather large caveat to this good news. We'll let Skogberg break it to you gently.

"Today, Xperia X10 is available in the market both in generic trade version and in versions customised for operators. Due to the resources available in this special project, we will focus on delivering trade versions of the software. Regarding possible customised operators kit we will have to get back with more information on this at a later stage. But we want to be very clear already at this stage on the fact that some of you may not get this upgrade."

Oh. The blog post also warns that Sony Ericsson is aiming to provide "the majority of functionality of the Gingerbread platform", so some features may be missing. Users are also warned that the update will replace the X10's customised camera UI with the standard Android one, meaning features like face recognition and smile shutter will be lost.

"DRM keys for protected content on your phone will be lost in the upgrade process," is another opposite-of-silver lining. Oh, and all your personal content and settings stored on the phone (as opposed to the memory card) will be lost in the process too, but Sony Ericsson's own Backup and Restore tool won't be included in the Gingerbread update, so you're advised to use another piece of backup software.

We know what many of you are thinking: does this mean other Sony Ericsson phones like the Xperia X10 mini, mini pro and Xperia X8 will get Android 2.3 Gingerbread too? Nope, sorry. Skogberg says the company had to prioritise its resources, so those will remain on older Android software. The X10, meanwhile, won't be getting any updates beyond Gingerbread.