"We believe the Open Handset Alliance offers an exciting opportunity for a new and unique user experience only Sony Ericsson can deliver," said Rikko Sakaguchi, vice president and head of Creation and Development, Sony Ericsson.
By signing up to the group, the companies have agreed to use Android to power their handsets or devices or to contribute significant code to the OS. The first handset to be powered by Android, the G1, was released by T-Mobile earlier this year.
Vodafone, Asus, Garmin International and Toshiba are also among the 14 new members taking the total to 47. Previously Sony Ericsson has used the Symbian operating system on its handsets. However, the company recently released the Xperia X1, which uses the Windows Mobile platform.
In 2006 Vodafone revealed that it intended to reduce the number of operating systems used on handsets on its network to Symbian, Windows Mobile and Linux. It also said that the decision would be in place for the next five years. Even though Android is based on Linux it doesn’t comply with middleware specifications for mobile Linux devices set by the LiMo Foundation. However, Vodafone hasn’t yet announced whether it plans to install Android on its handsets.