Sony Ericsson Intros Walkman Phones - InformationWeek
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Sony Ericsson Intros Walkman Phones

The Zylo and the Spiro handsets combine music features with social networking features.

 Sony Ericsson Zylo Walkman Phone
(click image for larger view)
Sony Ericsson Zylo Walkman Phone
After watching its mobile phone market share plunge in recent months, Sony Ericsson is going to its strengths -- its Walkman music legacy -- as it introduced two phones Tuesday that it says are “affordable.”

The Zylo and the Spiro combine a myriad of music features with social networking features that enable consumers to reach their friends with a touch of a button, all the while listening to music on the Walkman player. Social networking features enable Zylo and Spiro users to share their music with friends and there is a way to play soft background music while talking and communicating with others. The Zylo has a 3.2 megapixel camera and the Spiro a 2.0 megapixel camera.

The phones also feature TrackID, which enables listeners to obtain the name of the track they are hearing. The Zylo handset plays FLAC (free lossless audio codec) audio files that can compress data without losing audio source originality. Sony Ericsson is betting that loyal Sony music lovers familiar with Walkman advancements since the introduction of the first Walkman in the late 1970s will be attracted to the phones.

The Walkman phones are a relatively recent phenomenon, but they have sold well in recent years while Sony Ericsson’s attempts to crack other feature segments of the mobile phone market have languished.

“The Sony Ericsson range of Walkman phones has seen tremendous success since it was first launched in 2005 having sold more than 130 million handsets to date,” said Jenny Maltesson, Sony Ericsson’s marketing business manager, in a statement.

The phones will be available on GSM and follow-on GSM networks from early third quarter. The firm did not release pricing on the phones, but said they are “affordable.”

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