We had some fairly big hints that it was coming, but in the end it was still a bit of a surprise: the transformation from Sony Ericsson to Sony begins today with the newly unveiled Xperia S.
After all, what better time to kick things off than the biggest tech shindig of the year – CES 2012 in Las Vegas? And the best news of all is that the fetching new Xperia handset with the Sony name will be on sale in the UK in just two months' time.
Big PR moves aside, of course, this is very much a phone developed and built by Sony Ericsson, and if you've been following recent leaks you'll be far more familiar with the name Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc HD, which is what this phone really is.
Appearance-wise we have to say that it looks better than the leaks suggested it would – largely thanks to the fact that the white strip running along the bottom isn't an accent but a transparent ribbon that runs all the way around. It adds a touch of glamour that offsets the otherwise subdued styling nicely.
There's a 4.3in touchscreen running at a rather nice 1,280 x 720 resolution (hence the HD in the name), while the 12-megapixel Sony Exmor R image sensor can shoot Full HD clips, and certainly has the potential to be one of the best Android camera units we've seen so far.
Processor-wise it's a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon unit as we were expecting, along with a decent helping of 32GB of storage, though that won't last as long as you might think what with all those high-res pics and 1080p videos you'll be recording.
It's disappointing, but not a huge surprise that it's Android 2.3 Gingerbread running the show and not Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich – this is a phone that's been in development for a while, after all – but Sony has already confirmed that an ICS update will be pushed out in the second half of the year.
The important news, though, is that we'll only have to wait until March to get our hands on the Xperia S here in the UK. That's not too long to have to wait, and you can be sure we'll be getting up close and personal with the first big mobile release in Sony's own name at Mobile World Congress next month.