iPhone 4 Rival Alert : Sony Ericsson Nypon Base Hardware Pictured

ST-Ericsson has released what looks to be the base hardware (Rio Grande platform) for one of Sony Ericsson's forthcoming Android-based smartphones, codenamed the Nypon LT22i.

The device, which can be seen in the video below has a 960x540 pixel screen, like the HTC Sensation, a dual core ST Ericsson Novathor U8500 processor clocked at 1GHz and runs on Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich.

All previous top of the range and mainstream Sony Ericsson smartphones have been powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon range but Sony Ericsson has been so conservative in 2011, that it remains the only mainstream smartphone maker not to have released a dual core smartphone yet.

This is bound to change next year as Sony has taken over the Sony Ericsson joint venture buying out Ericsson's portion to make SE a wholly owned subsidiary.

2012 is set to be a champagne year for ST Ericsson - the JV between ST Microelectronics and Ericsson - as well as the semiconductor company finally maturing and competing with other better known US-based rivals like Qualcomm, TI and Nvidia.

ST Ericsson has been chosen by Microsoft as the second silicon partner - after Qualcomm - for Windows Phone Mango. Interestingly, ST Ericsson is not a Windows 8 for ARM partner yet.