Own a piece of Windows Phone history that almost was - the Sony Ericsson Julie

One of the things that initially attracted me to Windows Phone was how it seemed like a balance between the iOS and Android approach to smartphones. You have a consistent user experience across devices (iOS), while still having a wide variety of handsets to choose from (Android). And it’s been wonderful. We’ve had a variety of OEMs over the years too, companies like Samsung and HTC have been there from the beginning and others like LG and Dell came and went. Nokia came about midway through and bet the entire company on the platform.

However, Sony Ericsson is one company that has been absent the entire time, but it almost wasn’t that way.

At Mobile World Congress 2010 they were announced as a hardware launch partner, but between then and the October launch nothing materialized. Sure we saw a prototype from time to time they were working on, but nothing for consumers to buy. It’s been an elusive handset since then though, it only surfaces every blue moon in forums or tips. You could potentially own one though.

Julie Prototype QWERTY keyboard Windows Phone 7

Surfing on over to eBay Netherlands (opens in new tab) you can bid and potentially own that very prototype. The Sony Ericcson Julie has been teasing us for over two and a half years. The eBay listing provides the following specs: 8MP camera, GSM Triband, unlocked, a version of Windows Phone with a May 2012 build date, 16GB of storage, and a slide out QWERTY keyboard. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to potentially own a piece of Windows Phone history that almost was, head on over to eBay and place a bid down. These days, you’re less and less likely to see a Windows Phone device from Sony, but it’s an interesting idea and they have been making some good hardware lately.

While it would lack official support from Sony or Microsoft, this could be an interesting little device to play around with. Anybody interested in it?

Source: eBay Nl (opens in new tab)

  • Cool if you could get it for the right price. . . Like $1.50
  • Would it actually work, or would it just be a paperweight?
  • That's the gamble. 
  • In the ebay description he says, that it is fully functional.
  • I like the IE and what appears to be games/Xbox tiles. This is obviously a very early build of the OS
  • I would buy it, but the auction is not in English... If I could figure out how much it costs and the shipping I would buy it right now!
  • The second half of the description is English. Also, change the .nl in the link to .com to view it on the main eBay site. I'm not sure they ship to the US, though.
  • It's going on auction. At the moment the highest bid is 31€. The seller only ships to Europe for 13€ (shipping costs)
  • I really hope someone on xda gets this puppy and comes up with a way to update it to windows phone 7.8
  • LED charge light...notification light??? Why sony. Someone do this on WP finally
  • HTC 7 pro/arrive has one
  • HTC phones, Titans
  • I think he's talking about email, text, voicemail, etc. notifications. HTC only has charging / missed call with only 2 colors. With BlackBerry you can give a contact a certain color. You can basically color code everything. Just by the LED indicator you can tell who called / texted / emailed / voicemail. It's a killer feature.
  • Does it have the "other" storage issue? :-)
  • Ahaha that's exactly what I was thinking
  • Windows phone 7 never had storage issue.
  • Other storage are all the apps in your phone, lol.
  • Don't expect the 7.8 update for this bad boy.lol
  • The price is 31 €
  • Its Jolie not Julie
  • Ugliest damn keyboard ever! Ok, may be the LG neon has an uglier keyboard but still.
  • at least it has one - cant wait for nokia to present one. they where quite early with the communicators so they have knowlege there
  • I had a Neon once. You're right about the keyboard, LOL.
  • When they unveiled the 5/6 devices that were supposed to be launch devices, this was the one for me. I was over the moon for it. I had the HTC Titan 1 & 2 prior, and was so excited that the landscape slider was continuing on. Alas, it was not to be, although I did have an LG Optimus Quantum for WP7 launch. I have a Nokia 920 (daily driver), Samsung Ativ, and HTC 8X (don't ask, had an issue with service providers). And I would gladly trade them all for a decent 4.5-4.7" landscape slider. I don't care about micro SD, or OiS, or Pureview, Beats, or anything else nearly as much as a decent hardware keyboard. Call me old fashioned, but for repeated, lengthy input, its untouchable. If someone released a 4.5-5" slider, would it sell? I think so. Business would eat it up.
  • Dude I call you Honest. There is no one perfect phone / OEM. It's all a personal preference. A physical keyboard is for you. A large screen / sd slot for me. A camera for someone else. It all comes down to what phone meets your needs. Hopefully somebody will make a physical keyboard W8 phone.
  • Unfortuantely the physical keyboard is not coming to any Nokia or HTC WP devices anytime soon. Both already said there's no market for it. Meantime I've gotten used to the virtual keyboard so I don't hanker for a physical one anymore.
  • well you can get used to the touch keyboard. but having have the screen covered by the stupid keyboard writing something else than a tweet is just stupid!.. you cant figure out the format of your text.. you cant write fast ..you cant write without looking on the keyboard and you cant put the phone on the table and look on the screen except you have a stupid kickstand case. had 5 htc touch or type devices - I really miss them
  • This. When I had my LG Quantum, we had a group of friends over who challenged the speed difference in hard keyboard vs onscreen. So we had a typing contest amongst everyone and timed it. Not only did I destroy everyone (the only person who was even close was a blackberry portait hard keyboard) but as we kept redoing the challenge, I really proved the point of hard keyboard by not looking while I was typing. And this was with the LG, a pretty poor keyboard compared to the HTC Titan 2 I had been used to. For speed and consistency, a physical keyboard cannot be beaten. Or at least that is my opinion.
  • Are there any decent bluetooth or plug in USB keyboards for WP? Specifically for the 920.
    It'd be nice to pair and bash out a text, maybe even an email occasionally.
  • Well any Bluetooth keyboard *should* work I believe, but if you mean a keyboard matched to the 920 in perhaps shape or built into a case specifically, I have not seen any.
  • 7.8? lol
  • I want a slider like that
  • Looks promising, but no 7.8 or at least Tango. Plus, did that Chip SOC say
  • Sony still refuses to make a Windows Phone. The only two explanation were:
    1) Lack of maturity/marketshare of the OS - but Sony is investing time and effort to launch a Firefox OS ROM for their Xperia phones on day one
    2) Xbox integration - but it's not like Windows Phone is *that* attached to Xbox - Sony sell tablets running Windows 8 with Xbox app built in as well.
    So I really don't see why... they do make some beautiful phones to be honest.
  • They are making just too much money on Android to bother with WP.
    Actually, just noticed they made a loss last quarter, hmm, just like the previous 7 quarters before that.  I guess Sony management believe this year, if they keep on doing the same thing, they will get a different result.
  • No kidding. Good luck with that, Sony Ericsson.
  • Well once WP hits 5% world-wide marketshare, this GDR2 update comes out and the (I'd rather not talk about them) main missing apps are in the market, say early summer for all of that I think they'd be foolish to ignore WP anymore.
  • As most people here believe, they were foolish to ignore it in the first place, especially if they're making Windows desktops, laptops, and tablets. People who like having "sets" would buy all Sony-Windows devices.
  • According to Sony's CEO, that was due to disputes with Ericsson which resulted in few phones, regardless of platform being made.
    Now that Ericsson is out of the deal, they are actually producing some good high end phones.
  • It would've been a good option, but fuckem. Wake me when they're serious.
  • JOLIE not Julie!!
  • Hi, looks like my auction made it up to here :-) Damn spellingchecker changed it to Julie instead of Jolie. Noticed it after that auction was ready, unable to change. It can be shipped to anywhere in the world. Just check the auction for shipping costs. And Yes, it is in fully functional condition ! It boots, syncs with Zune, everything !
  • Thanks! How did you ever come across it? ;)
  • The internet is mysterious ;-)
  • Well this little exposure has helped the Seller! Now up to €108 and rising!
  • Sony will never release a Windows Phone simply because PlayStation vs Xbox. Xbox is now everything on windows and Sony wont risk helping that grow. Simple. They can get on board with Firefox cos' its just a low end system that offers no competition.
  • Sony ericsson altho a sub company of Sony has nothing to do with Sony entertainment.. What that means is Playstation vs Xbox means absolutely nothing to them
  • I still would imagine not wanting to shoot a fellow division of your parent company in the foot supporting the competition.
  • Actually that's not entirely true. Fact is, the Xperia phones have integration with the PS3 like WP has with Xbox. And unlike Xbox only Xperia phones do that.
    So Sony does take advantage of that. Question is: how much more will they integrate with the upcoming PS4. If they decide to tighten that bond, it's more than justified not having WP on board. Now...I personally wish they would release de PS3 apps to other phones. I could use that way more than Xbox (I prefer the PS honestly. Unless Microsoft impresses me with the new Xbox)
  • Agreed, I'm a ps3 user not xbox360 would love a ps3 app with Bluetooth connectivity!!!
  • I hope they decide to tighten it so much that they only make Android tablets and non-Windows computers and see what happens.
  • Sony need to acknowledge that Playstation is weak sauce compared to Xbox and just release a WP device. And, yes, I have little faith in the PS4.
  • Agreed on all points, including having little faith in the PS4 ;-)
  • I have zero faith in ps4.. Not backwards compatible and it basically forces you to buy a POS vita just to get the full use outta of the ps4...glad me and sony parted ways way back when they thought it would be cool to make that god awful miniature psone
  • The only thing that makes me wanna buy a PS4 is the x86-64 processor and you, but only cuz I'm a huge AMD fan.
  • They made great looking unique phones when Sony partnered with Ericson. Can you believe they put full support for Firefox OS but claim will consider WP when there's a market for it. Cant trust these folks.
  • What if it didn't have FCC approval and had an SAR rating that was off the charts or something?
  • FCC has no power outside the US. If that was the case, they would have released it to the rest of the World.
  • If it was on Verizon I would buy it
  • Ohhh physical keyboard goodness how I miss you. I still wish that we would see an HTC 8 Pro!
  • Not worth the money.  I doubt it works since it has no radio firmware.  Its not even at 7.5 so why would you bother, let alone a may 2012 date would be at the level already?  No other specs to go by other than unlocked, camera, and memory.  What about RAM and CPU?  H+ maybe?  So really why do you all bother.  If you want a windows phone buy a HD7S on amazon for $180 instead of the $265 this is at now.  Sony Ericson died with the handheld CD player, leave it go already.
  • Whoa.  No one is buying this because they are looking for a great phone to use; this is a collector's item.  I myself would love to have this in my collection, but I would not pay more than $100 and currently, it is over $300 on ebay.
  • Windows Phones are nothing like iPhones or Androids. Site it's cooler looking, but it lacks EVERY GREAT APP AND GAME KNOWN TO MAN AVAILABLE ON IOS AMD ANDROID MARKET!!!!!
    There lies the problem.
  • Sure* in the second sentence
    And* between iOS and Android
    ...did I mention l love auto-correct???
  • If i hv to buy a product of history, i would like to have an HTC HD2 .... That one is legend of all windows phone!!!