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Sony, since buying out Ericsson`s stake in its mobile manufacturing operations, has gone on the offensive to create a wide range of smartphones for launch in 2012.

A total of around 11 models have been alluded to in leaked information, but last week two of these were revealed in more detail thanks to sneakily snapped photographs and some specification data.

Sony will continue to target the entry level end of the mobile market with the LT21i, also codenamed the Tapioca, according to sources quoted by PocketDroid.

The Tapioca will feature a single core processor which is running at a lowly 800MHz, a far cry from the dual and quad core smartphones that will surely dominate the top end of the market this year.

With a 3.2 inch touchscreen display, a 3.2 megapixel camera and 4GB of storage onboard, the Tapioca is shaping up to be quite a typical budget-oriented handset. However, if Sony is able to get the pricing right and do something created with the Android 2.3 platform then it could undercut rivals like the HTC Primo and ZTE Tania.

Whether or not Western customers will ever be able to buy the Tapioca remains to be seen as such low specs indicate that it might instead be targeted at emerging markets in Asia and Africa.

Sony`s second offering is the LT22i, also known as the Nypon in the manufacturer`s labs. As its product number indicates it will be a more powerful sibling to the Tapioca, with images suggesting that it will look quite similar to the Xperia Arc S thanks to a very thin shell.

Other specification information relating to the Nypon is not available, but expect a faster processor and better camera, along with a screen that outdoes that of the Tapioca, if not its immediate rivals.

Further Sony leaks which appeared online in recent days have revealed details about a handset called the Xperia U, previously codenamed the Kumquat.

This is likely to be another incremental step up the technical ladder from the Nypon, sporting a 3.5 inch touchscreen display with an impressive native resolution of 480×854. This too will be echoing the look of the Xperia S, although on a smaller scale given the 4.3 inch HD screen of its high end stable mate.

The Xperia U will integrate a dual core 1GHz processor, although upon launch it could well be preinstalled with Android 2.3 despite the fact that Android 4.0 is already emerging as the operating system of choice in 2012.

The Xperia U and Sony`s tasty sounding prototypes are probably going to be competing for room on the market alongside new BlackBerry deals this year. The BBX operating system developed by RIM from its tablet-oriented QNX software should help to update the BlackBerry range so that it can take on Android, iOS and Windows Phone without looking a little long in the tooth.

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