Available the day after Thanksgiving, Sony Ericsson’s touch-screen phone, the Xperia Xl, will most likely be used on A T &T’s network. It may prove to be a tough sell at the price of $800 smackeroos. With Apple’s iPhone costing about $200 dollars with a two-year contract, the high cost is sure to offend some.

Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Xl is expensive for a reason. The Windows Mobile phone will be unlocked, which means that buyers can use any carrier network they choose without signing a multi-year subscription. Ironically, it is unlikely that buyers would use any network other than AT &T, because the Global System for Mobile Communications (GMS) that the phone runs on makes AT &T and T-Mobile the only two options available!

It is rare for American phone makers to try to sell their phones without partnership with an operator. By subsidizing phones in exchange for a multi-year subscription, the end price of the phone is reduced drastically. The Sony Ericsson unlocked phone may appeal to those users who don’t like contracts, but those numbers will never compensate for the many more who could be reached through an operator.

It is possible that Sony Ericsson may yet be negotiating with AT&T to sell the Xperia Xl, but may not have wanted to miss the end-of-the-year shopping season. The Xperia Xl has gotten generally good reviews and is expected to appeal more to business users than consumers because it runs Windows Mobile.

Time will tell.