Sony Mobile to launch $99 Xperia Ion June 24

One of the first major launches by the newly branded Sony Mobile will be targeting an under-targeted crowd.

Sony Mobile Communications, a brand new division within Sony that developed after the company bought out Ericsson’s stake in the former joint venture Sony Ericsson, is aiming to get the budget-conscious consumer group on its side.

The Xperia Ion, one of the first devices that will launch with the “Sony Mobile” branding, will cost just $99 with a new service agreement when it launches in the US on June 24.

The Ion boasts a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 1 Gb of RAM, and 16 GB of built-in storage capacity. It has a front-facing camera capable of recording 720p video.

The rear-facing camera has a 12-megapixel resolution and according to Sony it can take pictures with a shot-to-shot time of less than one second.

Unfortunately, in an effort to keep the costs down, this phone will not ship with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Instead, it will be powered by the less powerful Android 2.3, Gingerbread, which is what most current Android devices use.

The Xperia S was the very first Sony Mobile device to hit the market, but that launched in Europe. The Ion will be the company’s first product here in the states.

It will launch on AT&T, with 4G LTE connectivity.