AT&T’s annual Developer Conference, held on the days before CES officially opens, has become a launch pad for the carrier’s high end devices of the new year. This year’s fiesta is no different, and the Sony Xperia Ion joins the newly minted AT&T LTE club as part of the festivities.

Expected to hit stores during the second quarter of this year, Xperia Ion will sport a 4.6″ HD display, 12 megapixel camera with Exmor R for mobile and a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor. Boasting “the ultimate smartphone viewing and listening experience,” Ion will support Sony Entertainment Network’s Music and Video Unlimited, and is also Playstation Certified like the Xperia Play, which launched last year.

Though Xperia Ion will launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread installed, AT&T and Sony said that the device will be upgraded to OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich later this year. Xperia Ion will also be the first smartphone sold under the Sony (née Sony Ericsson) brand in the United States.

Official Sony Xperia Ion LTE Demo