Sony Ericsson's next 'next-gen' phone – which we are tentatively referring to as Xperia 2 – will be released late in 2009 and will NOT be manufactured by HTC according to sources in the Far East.

Digitimes reports that rumours suggesting that a number of other Taiwan-based handset makers are in the running to nab the lucrative mobile manufacturing contract – specifically, Pegatron Technology (a spin-off of Asustek) and Mobinnova (a handset maker under Foxconn Electronics).

Three companies pitching

"Sony Ericsson is now in final talks with three handset makers, including FIH and Pegatron – the spin-off manufacturing arm of Asustek Computer – for the new smartphone project," claims the Digitimes report.

The report adds: "But HTC is not among them, said the sources, adding FIH or Pegatron is the most likely candidate to win the contract."

"Sony Ericsson is expected to finalize details with its prospective partner in the first quarter of 2009, with an aim to launch the new Windows Mobile-enabled smartphone before year-end 2009 at the earliest."

The HTC-made X1 went on sale in the UK back in September.