Sony Ericsson Unveils Latest Walkman Phone

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Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications announced Monday the launch of a fourth Walkman music phone.

The W900 multimedia device is the company's first UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) handset in its Walkman lineup.

The W900 3G phone has a 2.2-inch QVGA 262K TFT screen and offers several functionalities, including music player and imaging device, according to a recent news release.

"The W900 will establish a new lifestyle habit of enjoying … music and video and a full Internet Web experience on the move, from a single device," said Rikko Sakaguchi, senior vice president of Product and Application Planning at Sony Ericsson (search), in a statement.

The phone features Bluetooth and infrared connectivity. It includes 470MB user free memory and a Memory Stick PRO Duo (search) slot, which increases storage capacity up to 2GB. The W900 also boasts an HTML browser (search) and support for push e-mail, SMS and MMS messaging.

With the Walkman music player, W900 users can transfer and manage various music file formats, including MP3, AAC, MIDI, WAV and XMF.

Music tracks can be imported as OTA (over-the-air) downloads, when available, or through the PC using the included USB cable.

Supplied Disc2Phone PC software also enables drag-and-drop transfers of music tracks from audio CDs or stored personal collections.

The W900 features FM radio access, PlayNow ring tones and games and is the first Sony Ericsson phone to include a stereo portable hands-free HPM-80 with remote control, the company said.

A 3D Java gaming engine is also offered, making available a choice of several embedded Java games, including Power Ball Arcade (search) in 3D and Asphalt Urban GT 3d (search) from Gameloft.

Consumers can utilize many imaging and multimedia capabilities with the UMTS device, which has an integrated 2 megapixel camera with video recording capabilities at up to 30 fps (frames per second).

Adobe PhotoShop Start Edition 2.0 software comes packaged with the W900 for picture and video transfers to the PC, via a USB connection.

Users can access imported files for editing and sharing with the Adobe software or with Apple QuickTime Player for PC, according to the release.

"The W900 will not only appeal as a music phone," said Sakaguchi, in a statement. "The superb communications, multimedia and imaging functionalities will appeal to all those wanting a true multimedia-capable device."

The W900 will be available in black and white. Pricing details have not yet been released; however, Sony Ericsson says it expects to make the phone commercially available by the end of Q4 2005.

With the launch of its W900 mobile phone, the company also announced that it will release a Home Audio System and FM Music Transmitter for use with its line of Walkman devices.

The new MMR-60 Walkman FM Music Transmitter can be linked to a Sony Ericsson mobile device with the system connector Fast port.

From there, it transmits stored music files from the phone to be played on any radio receiver within a 10-meter range, according to a news release.

"This Walkman phone accessory is a must-have for anyone who wants to unleash the music from his or her phone and share it with friends, at a party or even in the car," said Per Helander, product manager at Sony Ericsson, in a statement.

"You can now use any radio receiver to listen to your favorite tracks in stereo loudspeakers, wherever you happen to be."

The MMR-60 will be available in limited markets (according to legal requirements for FM transmitters in each country) beginning in December 2005. Pricing and availability information have not yet been released.

Lastly, Sony Ericsson, along with Sony Corporation, announced the MDS-70 Home Audio System.

The MDS-70 functions as both a phone charger and Hi-Fi home stereo system, when connected to a set of performance speakers.

It operates via a set of designated music buttons or by remote control, according to a recent news release.

While it charges in the cradle, users can access and play content stored on their music phones. An embedded Sony S-Master digital amplifier results in Hi-Fi sound quality, the company said.

The MDS-70 Home Audio System will be available worldwide beginning in Q1 2006 (sold as either the Home Audio System MDS-70 from Sony Ericsson or the Cradle Audio CPA-001 from Sony Corporation).

Pricing details have not yet been made public, though distribution will be through consumer electronics and mobile telecom outlets.

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