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World's first 'newspaper' phone launched in Sweden

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17:25 CET+01:00
Sweden's Dagens Nyheter said on Wednesday it had launched the world's first "newspaper" telephone: a mobile phone offering the daily's subscribers direct and free access to its website.

"We want our readers to be able to follow the news even when they're in places where they cannot lay their hands on a paper or (access the Internet on) a computer," Thorbjörn Larsson, Dagens Nyheter (DN) editor-in-chief and publisher, told AFP.

"This is yet another way of distributing the news," he added.

DN subscribers can purchase the Nokia 6120 third generation phone on the paper's website, and by signing up for a 199 kronor ($31) monthly call plan can freely surf the daily's website by simply hitting a special "DN" button.

Larsson said the offer was already proving popular.

"After we announced the launch this morning (Wednesday), we received so many calls that our switchboard broke down. There's a lot of interest out there," he said.

While Sweden is generally considered technologically advanced, DN says the Scandinavian nation lies far behind countries like Japan and South Korea when it comes to the number of people who use mobile phones to surf the Internet.

"Many people (in Sweden) think it's complicated (to Internet surf on their mobile phones) and they don't know how much it costs," the paper's head of marketing Johan Othelius told DN.

"Now we're removing that obstacle," he added.

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