Sony Mobile: No plans to release an Xperia with a keyboard

by XB on 26th July 2012

in Xperia mini and Xperia mini pro, Xperia Pro

Those of you who were hopeful of a 2012/2013 update to the Sony Ericsson Xperia pro or Xperia mini pro we have some bad news for you. Sony Mobile has confirmed that it currently has no plans to release a Sony Xperia mobile with a physical QWERTY keyboard. The news came from John Cooper, UK Product Manager for Sony Mobile, who was taking questions on Facebook earlier today.

Sony attributed the reason behind the decision to the fact that the market prefers large touch screens over keyboards. Here’s what was said in full: “The market seems to prefer large touch screens to keyboards at the moment so unfortunately we don’t have any current plans to release an Xperia with a keyboard.”

The news doesn’t surprise at all. There has been a lack of physical QWERTY Android devices from all manufacturers. We wouldn’t expect Sony to build devices that are likely to only appeal to a small minority. Despite this, there is still a vocal minority who would like a QWERTY Android device of some kind and we’re sure this news will disappoint some.

No plans to release an Xperia with a keyboard

  • can you ask them when is ICS coming for the Xperia ION?!!!! :(

  • The Truth Must Be Said

    It does not matter since sony is not gonna make a phone with quadcore cpu or HD Advanced LCD Screen (IPS)
    sony sucked this year

  • Hansip87

    You know, my first love was X10 Mini Pro and the new Mini Pro. So i am sad to hear this :(

    Even though i have Ray right now, the reason i chose Ray beside of the design (which was quite similar with Xperia Mini Pro design wise) was the camera of course. If Sony develop Xperia Mini pro with ExMor camera, I’d definitely take one in a heartbeat. :(

  • Ignatius J. Riley

    Too bad. I love the slider keyboard of my mini pro. There’s no better way to write texts and messages. That on-screen typing and “swyping” sucks so much, it’s uncomfy as hell.

  • then my xperia pro will be last xperia with keyboard from sony ..

    love the qwerty keyboard so much ..

  • ChristianHJW

    This is extremely disappointing, i don’t know what to say :-( …..

    My XPERIA Pro is the best phone i ever had, but it is lacking more RAM and a dual core processor ?

    SONY should seriously rethink this decision, i am absolutely sure that they are wrong.

    In fact, if not for the keyboard, my current phone would NOT be an XPERIA, and the same is true for the mini Pro of my wife !!


  • jx

    ok i understand, but there still market for hardware qwerty keyboard phones, that is the reason BB still popular in some regions. Actually i am a bit disappointed with xperia pro and mini pro sliding keyboard quality they are somehow wobbly and easy to loose if hardly used. So i advice for Sony Mobile instead of putting sliding qwerty keyboard why not relived the P series with qwerty keyboard minus the slide. (just like the aspen, txt and p1) Just make Xperia C (for chatting) possible. SONY LISTEN!

  • What are you talking about? Xperia S, Xperia Acro S, Ion and GX all have HD IPS screens..

    Also, the S4 is superior to any mobile quad-core released to date. Why can’t people get that?!

  • paul4id

    Sony, you are F_U_C_K_I_N_G   I_D_I_O_T_S. Bring back Ericsson at once.

    The Xperia Pro is STILL to date the best phone on the global market. Nothing else comes close. All the quad core 13 megapixel matter for diddly squat if you can’t do something as simple as entering text well. Landscape browsing is also so much more comfortable on Xperia Pro as keyboard does not obscure screen, and can use keyboard shortcuts too.

    Also, if you do not market the device to networks, and intentionally delay the device by months in favour of touch-only then what do you expect?

    A refreshed Xperia Pro with better materials would be THE device to have. If it were not for the Xperia Pro, I would not have chosen an Xperia at all, as I believe it’s actually the only Xperia device that’s remotely competitive.

  • Héroe Del Silencio

    So, these are the product managers that lead SONY… to the failure.

  • jinga

    i am very dissapointed at sony. i will get a nokia symbian phone or a blackberry

  • jx

    FYI  XS, XAS, XI, XGX are using TFT LED Backlit LCD not IPS.
    I hope Sony will make the new Xperia Display Special and Competitive to super amoled hd.
    Sony i know you can market new display with the help of your concept technologies.

  • Dreamitwork

    Well .. i dont blame sony… its a big cost to make it happen when most of the user nowdays prefer full touch screen screen.

  • paul4id

     A lot of nonsense that it is “a big cost”

  • paul4id

     Being able to efficiently input text is vastly more important in real world usage than the spec-porn you speak of.

  • Jhgjghj

    You guys may remember me, i’m the person always saying we want a SONY Mini Pro…

    So bad and good news (kinda) for me.

    Bad news is that my SE Mini Pro won’t get the jelly bean update, however good news is that I am glad I got my Mini Pro!

    Just got the Mini Pro 2 days ago from upgrading the original X10 Mini Pro (soooo much better)… Would have been more than disapointed to find out only two days later that they announced a successor (well, better than last time, got my X10, then just ONE day later they announced the Mini Pro aha)

  • Ohred_hk

    I have a love-hate feeling towards my Pro. I love the overall design but the lack of ram and a buggy firmware is always a let down. If sony is not serious with a qwerty phone, I would also say they should just drop it from their line.

  • Albert Octavianus

    it’s already been certified, check ptcrb, got certified 16th July. So I suppose it will be out in 2 weeks or so, I can’t wait as well. By the way, i remember people saying that LT28i won’t have LTE feature, but apparently they are wrong, my LT28i is LTE enabled

  • naathaanS

    Well they didnt say they wont release any, just no plan

  • Proud Mini Pro user, after reading this, this would be my last one :(

    I’ll go back to J2ME O_O – SE K800i FTW

  • FlowXT

    Wasn’t “create the market where there is none” one of Akio Morita’s lessons? 

  • Dreamitwork

    If you making a product which is no return sale. You will change your biss prospective. Sony do the same thing here. RND costing to expensive right now plus with all patern arguement. Blacberry trying to come out with full touch screen device and at the end the sale drop and make them back to what they do the best. Qwerty keyboard phone.

  • Leo

    Being an end user, I have one Xperia phone with 4″ screen; and also the Xperia mini pro as a secondary devices. 
    Of course, I understood that most user are preferring large keyboard nowadays; but I also found that on screen keyboard is not giving me a good using experience on typing message, replying mail. 
    That’s why I have mini pro as my secondary device. I use that to have message, mail. 
    I do hope SONY reconsider to develop one to two device with Keyboard. 
    Or else, I have an idea that SONY should develop a smart look Bluetooth keyboard as an accessory. This will help things a lot.  

  • Leo

    Agree that’s a nonsense of “a big cost”; they should save the cost from releasing all phone with similar spec such as SOLA, TIPO, MIRO, etc, just need to save one of them and develop one with Keyboard should be fine. 

  • Cloud_Connected

    I would like the idea of a sony bt keyboard & mouse aimed to complement the mobile dev.

  • DragonClaw

    The Mini Pro and Pro are really awesome devices with just the perfect keyboards. 
    Hope Sony rethink their decision. 

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  • Mehdi Moha


     NO Keyboard ?!!

    just want to build same – fucking – phone ??  xperia s,p,ion,sx …  all the same


  • DragonClaw

    No. That idea is awesome. Imagine the Xperia Mini Pro keyboard as stand alone device. Cool. Awesome. :)

  • paul4id

    It’s a terrible idea. The Xperia Pro (not mini) is already a compact device that is easy to hold in hand, even with keyboard closed. There is no size disadvantage in having a keyboard.

  • paul4id

    Why? It is near perfection. All they need to do is tweak it.

  • DragonClaw

    I meant only a Keyboard running blutooth or some sort of connectivity feature. So you can hook it up to your Xperia phone wirelessly and text.
    Add it with a trackball and it will give super productivity.

  • paul4id

    But there is nothing TECHNICAL keeping the Xperia Pro sales back. Sony could have pushed Xperia Pro-like devices as superior alternative to Blackberries (which it is). Many many people have BlackBerries and want a proper keyboard. Yet what does Sony do? They delay Xperia Pro by 6 months and remain very quiet about it. Here in the UK you couldn’t even find the Xperia Pro in any big phone shop — the only way to get it is to buy online. That is a complete and utter failure of the sales and marketing people, as well as stupidity from UK network operators in assuming what end-users want.

  • strange

    Because people like Mr ‘The Truth Must Be Said’ are simply idiot and fools like those who throw their money to buy a phone just because of a popular fruit brand whose design now we know was “inspired” from SONY.

  • Rafieboy05

     hard to find pro in retail not sony fault but its under carrier decision which fit with a market needs right now. maybe for 2012 and 2013 consumer more prefer full touch screen and manufacture like “amazing race” to come out with really thin device which is no room to under layer it with psychical qwerty keyboard. even in malaysia very hard to find xp pro in carrier list. because of low demand for this beauty.  

  • lovebmw

    i dont understand, why are you here?  if you dont like them so much leave… so by cursing at Sony employees you think they are going to look at your comments?   i think key boards are sooo 2010 – 2011 and if you ask many modern poeple, its a no for a hardware key board.

  • View it with smart watch and type with some keyboard bt

    Awesome idea, the only thing left is it will be hard to bring all of it

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  • paul4id

    I’m here because I used to love Sony Ericsson, but find it sickening to see a company that had so much potential destroy themselves with the many poor decisions like this.

    After releasing so many wonderful devices in 2011 with an excellent and well thought-out product portfolio I really thought the company were on the up. But here in 2012 I can’t see any of their devices that particularly stands from being a boring touch-brick nor is not flawed in some way or another (e.g. Removing features like SD expansion and removable batteries etc., making devices more square and less ergonomical, stupid non-tactile buttons etc.).

    PS: you clearly haven’t used Xperia Pro. I would never go back to touch-only. Fashion rarely follows logic.

  • ChristianHJW

    Yes, i couldn’t agree more. SONY’s decision is very typical for most Japanese companies, it seems we, – the fans – have to realize that the good old Ericsson days are over now. I couldn’t agree more with what other people were posting here, the 2011 series was maybe not top of pops from the specs, but they were definitely fresh, new and different to the standard stuff that the other companies had.

    I am dealing with Japanese companies in my job, and overall it’s the same picture everywhere. The Japanese Top Managers are totally clueless about what to do, they are having no concept and no visions. Their only way to operate is to put more and more pressure onto their employees, and as the pressure is diffusing from the top to the bottom of the company, all that’s left is a frustrated and demotivated staff. Everybody is driven by fear and trying to keep himself out of the line of fire, there is no creativity and nobody dares to take decisions, especially not risky ones. In all that mess they are busy like hell, the worst thing to happen to  a Japanese employee is that somebody could doubt their ‘attitude’ towards your company.

    If Akio Morita would have acted that way, there would have been no Walkman, that’s for sure :-( …..

    The three most interesting smartphones in 2011, from my perspective, were all from SONY Ericsson : The XPERIA Play, the Xperia Pro, and the Xperia mini Pro. It is hard to believe that especially the first one, the XPERIA Play, will not get a successor ? And if there was a Play II, it should be fairly simple to derive a new Pro from it, using the same slider mechanism, and just add a keyboard instead of the console ?

    Please SONY managers, rethink your decision ! I don’t care what the next Pro will cost, if there will be none, i will have to go back to RIM/Blackberry, as without keyboard i can’t work !

  • Fay

    Why Sony, why…..

  • paul4id

    Having worked in Japan and loving the country and the Japanese people and their strengths, I agree with your sentiments on their weaknesses.

    One of the best aspects of Sony Ericsson that kept it fresh was the infusion of both Japanese and European strengths. Moving all the top design, marketing, and user experience decisions to Japan is a BAD BAD move. The Japanese end should be focusing on things like top camera quality, top display quality, top audio performance etc. However, Japanese managers should be kept away from user experience and marketing decisions at all costs!!

  • paul4id

     This is the only glimmer of hope. They can take their time to perfect the most refined and quality Xperia Pro and then unleash the masterpiece of perfection on the world. (cross your fingers people!!)

  • paul4id

    Indeed, “xperia s,p,ion,sx” are all the same – none are perfect devices, just one is gimped in a slightly different way to the other.

    Sony need to take their time and just design ULTIMATE devices, with all features but in different form-factors (small, medium, large sizes with and without keyboards). This seemed to be the strategy they had unveiled with their 2011 Xperias and I had great hopes for them as that was a refreshing strategy, but with 2012 we can see that they are not using their resources efficiently and have released the same boring and differently flawed phone 20 times.

  •  True. But let me tell you, those keyboards suck! They are absolutely flat and lack feedback. The only keyboard that comes close to the pro, is the HTC’s DesireZ (G2). And of course the absolute winner in mobie keyboards is, hands down, the X1. The arc slider, the diagonal rib on on each key, checkered layout. I swear I’ve never typed that fast on any phone, no keyboard, in my life!
    Sony, wake up. Start a new (good old) trend, instead of following the herd. I’m sure that if you were to give your flagship a huge screen and a keyboard, the posers would be falling heels over head to get it. By the way, huge paper-thin phones are extremely uncomfortable to handle.

  •  P.S. The only reason the pro did not make much profit, is that it flew under the radar. It was not advertized at all. Any presentation would just gloss over it. I had to dig DEEEEEEEEEP to find any particular info about it. And to make matters worse, it took over a half a year to release. A lot of potential customers simply have grown tired of waiting. That certainly hurt the sales a lot!

  • Thank you!

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  • MrSEXPro

    The owner of Xperia Blog is clearly a fashionista drone who has not used Xperia Pro for any reasonable period of time. He also seems very smug in his fashion sense since he seems so keen to get rid of a type of device that is functionally superior to the devices he is seen with.

    A victory of fashion and sheeple over any form of common sense or marketing intelligence.

  • Dnj

    Im happy with the MINI pro screen size, I DO NOT WANT A TABLET IN MY POCKET

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  • gour_atmarama

    No more Qwerty keyboard, means buying no more Sony Xperia mobile phone…it was the main reason to get Xperia Mini Pro which I waited for quite some time to get a model with hardware problem (noise) fixed.

    Well, hopefully, there will be another vendor being smart-enough understanding that there are users who prefer writing stuff on the real keyboard instead of touch-screen gymnastics.

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  • Jay

    Honestly what product do Sony have that stand out ANYMORE.
    PS3 trying hard to explain why i have one over a 360 other than the style of the controller.
    Tv’s…… so many better than sony at 1/2 the price. (debatable, but honestly would you notice if they wernt there?)
    audio…. same story.
    laptops….unless you get the top end devices they are poo.
    Please anyone, can you reassure me that sony have any worthwhile product. we’ve had this debate in my office and still no answers….
    and now with this moronic decision…. had hoped that sony may take up for HTC in this field.
    HTC drop keyboards…..look what happened (I know this is not the only reason for their issues but I believe they have alienated their huge techy base with this decision).
    Sony you may only be a name in our technological history soon enough.
    Can c my grandkids saying “Sony, Who’s that?” to which I’ll then have to explain the days of Betamax….lol
    I really do hope Sony sort it out. but with some of the other comments i do doubt it.
    One of the main reasons to buy sony is the quality of there warrenty.
    No warrenty if they go by by.
    Be warned.

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  • Supraket

    Like every other posts below, I too agree that Sony should reconsider their decision to not come up with more physical QWERTY phones.
    According to the latest reports by Nokia’s poll (search on google) , more people prefer physical keyboard over a touchscreen typing. Even RIM agrees to this and is focusing on full keypad phones, after they failed to grab market with their full touch screen phones.

    And every, yes EVERY touch screen user I’ve spoken to says that while chatting (and thanks to advent of Whatsapp and all the messengers where chatting happens continuously) after sometime the on-screen typing gets irritating and physical keys are very much required.
    But since there are hardly any phones with physical keypads on Android, they are forced to go for full touch screen phones.

    As someone rightly said before, if Sony will not delay in launching the phone (Xperia Pro was announced in Jan ’11 and launched in Dec ’11), how do they expect good sales when around the launch time, Quad-core phones had started appearing !!!!
    Also if they market the product (I do not remember seeing any, means ANY kind of advt or promotion activity for Xperia Pro and how will the potential consumers know of the existence of the product??), they will form a market share who’ll keenly go for physical keyboards.

    I had Xperia Pro, which was stolen recently and am looking for another phone. Was expecting Sony to announce a sequel to Xperia Pro, but here it looks completely out-of-mind news. Can’t go for Xperia Pro again as I need higher specs than what it offers, atleast a gig of RAM & dual-core.

    Sony, I suggest you to do a market study again (refer to Nokia’s study) and reconsider your decision and come up with Xperia Pro II, not to forget, that launch it on time rather than delaying the launch so that it’s specs becomes obsolete at it’s launch.

    If only cell phone manufacturers didn’t consider qwerty phones for ordinary and come with great specs along with touch-screen ones, trust me, they’ll have awesome sales, even more than complete touch screen cells.

    Hope to see Xperia Pro’s sequel soon. Till then am shifting my base to Motorola Droid 4 (after having 6 Sony Ericsson phones), ONLY because Sony doesn’t have a good specs Android with physical QWERTY phone.

  • rabah

    If thers is no new xperia mini pro coming out for 2013 year thats mean no Sony mobile any more :( I love mini pro I want a new design and jellybean software

  • Anonymous

    Stumbled upon this as I was googling for the answer if Sony would release an upgraded Xperia (Mini) Pro. I love doing SSH sessions from my Mini Pro. My problem was the screen’s too small. I wanted to sell my Mini Pro and buy an Xperia Pro, but with how powerful smartphones are now compared to it, I thought I might as well wait and see if Sony would release another iteration of Xperia Pro. This is quite disheartening to hear.

  • ChristianHJW

    Probably my next phone could be a MOTOROLA :-O :-O ?!? ….. Upps :

    Dual core processor, more RAM, so in many aspects this could be better than my current Xperia Pro. Just installed ICS on it, this solved some of the problems i had with the phone, but the single core processor is definitely not fully up to the task, and i am still lacking ROM to install all the apps i want.

    SONY, can you really risk loosing customers to MOTOROLA ? Where is the Xperia T with keyboard !! :-)

  • Nimso

    Hang on a minute…. Did you say “Large Touchscreens” INSTEAD of Keyboards?????

    NO… We want large Touchscreens WITH Keyboards.. That’s the whole idea behind the disappointment! Duh

    Looks like I’m gonna go crazy and hack my Xperia Pro with an Xperia Play Screen! LOL

  • Good writintg, insightful!

  • dre

    I strongly agree Sony should have a new phone out with a slide up keyboard like at make a cellphone much better just having a other opin I ken get tried of all touch sometime. Sony listen to the customer make us happy keyboard

  • Proboscis

    So the market prefers large touch screens to keyboards. So what? Nobody is asking Sony not to make phones with large touch screens, But can’t they just make ONE keyboard phone in addition to the ten phones with large touch screen, rather than 11 with large touch screen? Moreover, they wouldn’t need to make a major investment in a new design. I think the users of keyboard phones will already be quite happy with an updated Xperia Pro, just with more memory and a faster processor.

  • ChristianHJW

    Sorry man, but they shouldn’t be astonished that the phone was not a top seller, as it was clearly technically inferior to the rest of the market already when it was launched, more than 6 months behind shedule :-( ……

    What is driving me insane is that these crazy guys from SONY Japan are now condemning the keyboard concept for this failure, instead of admitting that it has been their inability to bring it to the market early enough to be fully competitive against the more modern SAMSUNG and LG devices out there.

    SONY should finally understand that the Xperia Pro’s they did sell was ONLY because of it’s unique keyboard, as anything else about that phone (maybe except for the camera) was outdated already when it was launched !

    The keyboard saved the sales of this unit, it didn’t hurt it !!!

  • Slider

    Xperia V with sliding keyboard please!

  • Steve Jobbed

    LG Shine Plus has a nicer keyboard, but the phone ROM is not so great.

  • j

    Why, Sony, why?
    I want Ericsson to come back!

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  • M


  • Bad news – I have had both mini pro phones and they were the best. Guess I will have to wait for Sony to change there mind…

  • ChristianHJW

    Hi, sorry to disturb again, but is there any update from SONY on a new Xperia with physical QWERTY/QWERTZ keyboard ? It is totally unacceptable to me that SONY will let the Xperia Pro die ? Don’t they understand that the missing success was not because of the concept of the phone, but because they were way too late with it in the market ?

    Please stress your contacts with SONY to get a final confirmation for this, as otherwise i will have to buy a MOTOROLA Photon, and try to mod it for a German QWERTZ keyboard myself :-(….

    A disapointed Xperia Pro user

  • It’s just cheaper to make without a physical keyboard, so marketing pushes for
    that in spite of ergonomic and tactile feedback common sense. People just get
    too easily misled into believing advertisers know what’s best for them. majority of ipad users go on to buy a kb for it anyway seems lost on most people.

  • lriggs

    I really, actively, utterly loathe onscreen keyboards. I’ve had three smartphones with physical keyboards, then caved in and got a phone with onscreen keyboard and I’ve regretted my decision ever since.

    I want to FEEL those keys! And I want the QWERTY layout. I’m so disappointed – whatever happened to consumer choice?

  • maryatno

    i with keyboard is teh best smartphone


  • ChristianHJW

    Sorry to bring this up again, but has there been any positive news on a new XPERIA with physical keyboard recently ? Maybe can use their personal relations with SONY to make them aware of the huge market they are missing out, by ignoring the wishes of the XPERIA Pro fans for a successor ?

  • Mee

    The reason i’m without an android device is cos i cant find a full physical keyboard device to replace my xperia pro which was stolen. The NXT series just don’t seem to appeal at all.

    A revamped Xperia pro with more RAM and better CPU will do just fine.

  • ChristianHJW

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    i would like to inform you that we have set up an Online petition to convince the Smartphone manufacturers to launch new ANDROID units with physical keyboard :

    Please support us with the petition !


  • Pedro

    we want a better xperia pro phone more ram and better processor!!!!!!!!!!!NOW

  • ko

    True…my thumb knuckles hurt whenever I type too long on the touchscreen….weird. ..sigh

  • Shubham Mutreja

    Sony should release phones like this list
    1) A Flagship Phone like Xperia T or S (4.5-5inch)
    2) A midranger like Xperia SP (4-4.5 inch)
    3) A lowend phone like Xperia U(3.5-4.2 inch)
    4) A WALKMAN Phone Like Live With WALKMAN (3.5 inch)
    5) AND A UNBEATABLE PHONE like Xperia Mini Pro With QWERTY Keyboard From XPERIA X1
    with Dual Core And 2 GB RAM and 8 GB memory
    Not 20 or more devices becoz sony can rule with few things!!!!!!!!

  • Shubham Mutreja

    just wait and see the next years!!!!!!
    they were in heavy losses but now there was a profit in BRAVIA and there will be
    now the prices are good and not to mention the quality (check the upscaling quality sony wins)

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