Sony Ericsson has announced an expanded global strategic alliance with Billabong. Yep, Sony Ericsson - not Sony. And the first fruit of the new partnership will be....an Xperia active Billabong Edition. Now we see, the deal was obviously put in place before the big split.
"The partnership is an expansion of our long-term relationship with Sony and an extension of an Asia Pacific alliance developed with Sony Ericsson in 2011," said Scott Wallace, Billabong's International vice-president of strategic partnerships and new media.
"Our customers are very tech savvy and their top interests include music, photography, social media and, of course, action sports. Each of these interests can be captured or experienced through the Xperia active and we are working on some exciting apps and accessories that should add to the user's experience."
There will be more Billabong content on Xperia devices going forward than you could shake a skateboard at, including the Billabong Live app and an exclusive surf game, Billabong Surf Trip, for Xperia Play handsets.
The Xperia active is a compact little smartphone designed with the types of people who enjoy a bit of sporty fun - hence the hook-up with Billabong.
Its Android 2.3 handset (ICS coming apparently) is both dust proof and water resistant. And when we say water resistant we don't just mean that it can be used in the rain - the phone can be kept under 1m of water for 30 mins and even boasts wet-finger tracking so it still responds when either the screen or a user's fingers are wet.
Hardware wise, it packs a 1GHz processor has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and auto-focus that is also capable of 720p video recording and a 3-inch Reality Display with Mobile Bravia Engine.