CES, 3GSM, even CeBIT - with each big trade show that cell phone makers have exhibited at thus far this year has come a new round of rumors regarding Sony Ericsson's long-awaited "iPhone Killer." With CTIA less than two weeks away, the folks over on the Esato forums are once again working themselves into a frenzy regarding the possible debut of the SE P5i - codename Paris - in Las Vegas.
The P5i looks to be a sliderphone with a finger-friendly touchscreen, 5MP camera with full 30fps camcorder, high-res (possibly WVGA) display, and some sort of a QWERTY keypad - perhaps like the rocker-style thumbboard found on the SE P1i. Unlike the recently launched SE Xperia X1, which will run Windows Mobile, most people think the P5i will be another Symbian UIQ smartphone from SE.
And not to make it more confusing, but there's a chance the P5i will actually be called the X3i in keeping with SE's newly minted Xperia nomenclature. So confusing, these rumors.
Given SE's recent push towards gaining momentum in the North American market, it wouldn't be shocking to see a P5i with full quad-band GSM and US-spec HSDPA for 3G data access. That is, if the handset ever materializes.
There's also a new rumor regarding a possible new flagship atop SE's Cyber-Shot cameraphone lineup. Codename Shiho (I don't make this Codename stuff up, really) may take the place of the ill-fated K850i, which may or may not still be coming to AT&T here in the US. Where the K850 packed a 5MP camera with Xenon flash, Shiho is reported to up the ante to 7.2 megapixels and also feature a slider form factor. And, oh yeah, there's also that "Bei Bei" smartphone that started showing up in spy photos a few months ago but hasn't yet been announced.
I can't tell you exactly what we might see from them, but I can tell you that SE will be at CTIA, and even though they launched a few new phones at CES in January and several more at 3GSM last month, I'd be shocked if they don't have something special planned for Vegas. Courtney, Doug, and I will be on-site starting March 31 to bring make sure that whatever happens in Vegas goes straight to you, so long as it's CTIA-related.