Sony Ericsson launches Walkman mobile

There was perhaps a certain inevitability about the Tuesday's announcement from mobile phone giant Sony Ericsson. Just days after rival Nokia launched a range of new phones, the company demonstrated its first phone specially designed for music - the W800 'Walkman mobile'.

“Music is something everyone loves, so this is going to be bigger than the cameras in the future,” said the Sony Ericsson’s head of product marketing, Per Alksten.

The new phone, one of four launched on Tuesday, charmed the Swedish media almost immediately. Only Dagens Nyheter had the temerity to point out that “mobile telephones with music players are actually nothing new” – before listing what is new with this particular model.

The big news is that holds 150 songs which users can either order directly to their phone or download from a computer. Such wizadry doesn’t come cheap, however: the phone is expected to retail for around 6,000 kronor when it hits the high street after the summer.

The company admits that it is banking on the pulling power of Sony’s legendary Walkman label to shift the new phones.

“It gives us incredible strength to have access to such a well-known brand,” said Per Alksten.

Alksten dismissed DN’s concerns that the new phone would encourage people to download more illegal music.

“We don’t see it that way. This is a massive opportunity for us to reach a new market. We’re working on the legal aspects separately,” he said.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet