Sony Ericsson unveils mass-market Walkman phones


Sony Ericsson chose the week the premium multimedia Apple iPhone was launched in the UK to unveil four new devices, each pitched to the mass market and tailored to specific user needs.

The new budget W380i and mid-range W890i handsets are, in accordance with its Walkman branding, are billed as music phones. Both feature Sony Ericsson’s PlayNow and Track ID services.

The clamshell W380i has 512 MB storage, enough for 270 tracks. Its music controls are located on the top of the device, and it also come with a new feature called Gesture Control, which allows users to mute calls or silence the alarm by waving their hands across the handset face.

The slim-line W890i is HSDPA-enabled and has a 2 GB music storage capacity, allowing for up to 1,800 tracks. It also has a 3.2 mega-pixel camera.

Sony Ericsson also announced the K660i, pitched to mobile internet users. The HSDPA-enabled K660i features landscape web browsing and illuminated shortcut keys that are activated during browsing. It also announced its first USB modem, the MD300, to enable PC web connectivity.

Sony Ericsson UK head of marketing David Hilton (pictured) said, even as its handsets’ functionality ramps up next year, its handsets will be segmented according to music, imaging and web.

“There’s a market and consumer expectation to offer a bit more than music, so we’re going to eventually see Sony Ericsson Walkman handsets offer consumers a little more to the point where we’ll even be able to watch the music video to the song we’re listening to on the handset,” said Hilton.