Two Sony Ericsson Android phones made their debut in the U.S. today, although they are only available through the Sony Store.
The handset manufacturer unveiled the Xperia Arc S and the Xperia Neo V. The Arc S is $549.99 and the Neo V is $349.99, and both come unlocked.
That the two phones are hitting the U.S. shores only through Sony's stores is indicative of Sony Ericsson's recent struggles in the U.S. Smartphones that are sold without carrier support typically languish in the market or remain niche items for gadget enthusiasts.
A representative from Sony Ericsson wasn't available to comment on why the phones weren't sold through a carrier.
Sony Ericsson had its shot with the PlayStation-inspired Xperia Play, which got the support of both Verizon Wireless and AT&T. The phone, which mashed together a typical Android device with a flattened PlayStation controller, didn't fare well, and was almost immediately discounted.
The issues at Sony Ericsson have caused some shake-ups with its parents, as Sony paid $1.5 billion to buy out Ericsson's stake in the business. Sony believes it can better right the ship on its own through a tighter integration with its own products.
For now, Sony Ericsson remains a niche brand in the U.S. The handset manufacturer ranked 10th in the world by market share in the third quarter, according to a study taken by Gartner. Its market share dipped to 1.9 percent from 2.5 percent a year ago.
The Xperia Arc S, meanwhile, is a middle-of-the-road smartphone, with a 1.4 gigahertz processor, 4.2-inch screen, an 8.1-megapixel camera, and "3D and 2D sweep panorama photography" capabilities. The phone comes in a variety of colors, including white, blue and silver.
The lower-end Xperia Neo V has a slower processor, a 3.7-inch touch screen, a 5-megapixel camera with 16x digital zoom, a front-facing camera, and also comes in three different colors.
Both phones run on the 2.3.4 version of Android, also known as Gingerbread.