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Sony sneers at quad-core 'inefficiency', holds off til 2013

The phone maker won't release any handsets with quad-core processors until next year, according to an executive.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read
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Sony won't release any quad-core phones until next year, an executive has said. The reason? The performance doesn't yet meet its expectations.

"We're going to join quad-core when we feel that the performance matches the battery efficiency," Sony Mobile product marketing manager Stephen Sneeden told our sister site CNET Asia at Mobile World Congress. "Because right now we don't feel that is there."

While it waits for quad-core to catch up, Sony will be choosing a different style of innards for its phones. "What we're going to be doing in the second half of the year is moving to the Cortex A16 architecture, which we feels outperforms the current quad-core architecture," Sneeden went on.

He predicts next year the time will be right for Sony to make the jump. "You'll see in 2013, as we're evaluating the quad-core performance where it makes sense, where you're not suffering in quality and the performance truly is there, and there really is something that demanding applications need," he said. "That's when we make the right move to quad-core."

Sony debuted two dual-core models at Mobile World Congress: the Xperia P (pictured above) and Xperia U, both of which run will Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch. Others were more keen to roll out quad-core mobiles, however, with both Huawei and HTC jumping on-board the quad-core bandwagon. (That's a pretty nippy bandwagon, I'd wager.)

As well as the Xperia U and P, the Sony Xperia Ion will be touching down in the UK soon. Again, it's dual-core, but many would argue that's fast enough.

In our HTC One X hands-on (video below), we wondered if a quad-core processor could be overkill. With cameras generally topping out at 12 megapixels, the megapixel race is pretty much over (unless Nokia's just started round two, that is), so processors could be next in the numbers game. Sure, quad-core looks better on paper, but will it actually make much difference to the handset's performance? Or will it just bump up the price tag with no discernible benefits?

Let me know if you agree with Sony's stance, or if you think quad-core is what it's all about right now. Jot your thoughts in the comments box below, or on our Facebook page. And for everything Mobile World Congress, head to mwc.cnet.co.uk.