Sony Ericsson draws on audio and imaging experience for new mobiles

Megapixel cameras and the Sony Ericsson 'Walkman' dominate plans

Megapixel cameras and high-quality audio are the two top features of Sony Ericsson's new mobile phone range.

The new phone range has been segmented into consumer and enterprise markets, says Graeme Sexton, product sales manager of Sony Ericsson New Zealand. Both target markets will get phones with 1.3, 2 and 3 megapixel cameras however.

Consumers will get phones like the W800 which Sony Ericsson terms the "Walkman Phone". This features 512MB storage on Sony's Memory Stick format for MP3 recording which is enough space for 10-12 CDs.

The phones use Intel's low-power ARM processors but run a proprietary operating system, according to Sexton. Unlike some mobile phone vendors, Sexton says Sony Ericsson offers operating system updates on a regular basis so as to provide security patches.

Sony Ericsson is an all-GSM handset provider, and is waiting for Vodafone to rollout its 3G UMTS network before it launches phones and PC cards that'll provide fast mobile data access for customers, Sexton says.

Another focus is providing entertainment for mobile customers like games, video and music. Sexton says Sony is able to supply large amounts of content thanks its ownership of several large media and entertainment companies.

After an inauspicuous start with large losses for the first two years, jointly owned Japanese-Swedish mobile phone conglomerate Sony-Ericsson turned the corner last year with a US$486 million profit. Nokia is still the the Goliath in the mobile phone business with a third of the total market, Sexton says. However, he adds that Sony Ericsson's six per cent market share puts it on par with other players competing with the Finnish phone giant.

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