With the announcements of the Xperia S and Xperia Ion, Sony's buyout of Ericsson from their decade-old mobile joint venture enters a new phase: these are the first phones to be announced with Sony branding alone. The Japanese giant is quick to note that the deal isn't technically closed just yet — it's still "subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals" — but with two phones now announced featuring the Sony-only branding, confidence must be very high.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the branding changeover, though, is that Sony Ericsson's logo — the stylized green sphere — is still present on the backs of the phones, a continued reminder of the departed brand. Is it here to stay? That remains to be seen; it could simply be that the S and Ion were developed too late in the cycle to completely eliminate every trace of the legacy Sony Ericsson branding, but it could also be a sign that Sony wants to carry forward a sliver of the phone brand it helped build over the past decade.