Sony Ericsson unveils Walkman and PlayNow plans

Sony Ericsson unveils Walkman and PlayNow plans

Three new phones and a converged services platform in the pipeline

Sony Ericsson has laid out its plans for the remainder of 2007 and early 2008, unveiling three new handsets and offering a first glimpse of its PlayNow services platform.

The mobile phone giant will add two Walkman phones to its portfolio, the W890 and W380.

The W890 is a slim candybar-style design with 2GB of storage and a 3.2 megapixel camera as well as all the usual entertainment features found in Sony Ericsson's Walkman-branded phones.

The W380 sees a departure from the standard by using a clamshell design with an OLED external display to show the name of a music track or caller information.

The handset also includes a gesture control feature which allows users to mute calls with a wave of the hand.

Sony Ericsson also unveiled its K660 phone aimed at users who require access to data and the internet while on the move.

The K660 is optimised for mobile web access with HSDPA support as well as landscape browsing.

Several shortcut keys, including pan-and-zoom, home page, enter address and bookmark, are designed to help improve the mobile web experience.

The phone's navigation key serves as a 'magnetic mouse pointer' when in web mode, helping users to navigate web pages more easily.

All three phones are due in selected markets around the world from the first quarter of 2008.

Sony Ericsson also announced its intention to further develop the PlayNow arena in a bid to offer a range of new free and paid-for mobile entertainment and content.

The platform was launched in February 2004 allowing users to listen to and purchase polyphonic ring-tones directly on their phone.

The service was expanded over time and is now available in 32 countries around the world, offering MP3 ring-tones, games, full music tracks, themes and wallpapers.

Sony Ericsson has promised that the next generation of PlayNow will allow consumers to access a greatly expanded range of content, and that relevant material will be easier to find.

As part of this drive the company will combine its music catalogue with its TrackID service which allows users to record a music clip from any source which will then be identified.

By combining these features, users will be able to purchase the tracks or albums directly from the PlayNow store.

Rollout of the enhanced PlayNow service will start in the second quarter of 2008.