Sony Ericsson intends to hang in by a thread and fight for its space in the high-end mobile handset segment. It announced on Thursday the launch of the flagship Xperia arc smart phone based on the Android platform, Wall Street Journal reported.

The device, based on Google Android 2.3, will hit stores in selected markets including Japan from the first quarter, the report says.

Fast losing market share in the mobile handset segment and hard-pressed to withstand the onslaught of the likes of Apple and RIM, Sony Ericsson will set much store by the new smart phone, which it launched t the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The Xperia arc weighs 117 grams and measures 8.7 millimeters at its thinnest part, and it has a 4.2 inch touchscreen. That compares with 135 grams and 13 millimeters for the Xperia X10, which has a 4.0 inch touchscreen, WSJ said.

The Inquirer threw more light on the device. It is packed full of entertainment oriented features. The display uses the Mobile Bravia Engine, which makes for better video watching, although no one will explain to us why people want to watch movies on a 4.2-inch screen, Edward Berridge wrote in the Inquirer.

The report says Sony Ericsson has not said how much the new device will cost.