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Sony Ericsson Unveils Mobile Movies, Smartphones

The company introduced a media-sharing service for its handsets and phones that sport 8- and 12-megapixel cameras.

Sony Ericsson Walkman W995

Sony Ericsson Walkman W995
(click for larger image)

Sony Ericsson has been facing some tough business months because of the staggering economy, and it will be looking to its entertainment divisions to help spur a comeback.

At the Mobile World Congress, Sony Ericsson unveiled its "Entertainment Unlimited" strategy, which will try to provide customers with cross-platform entertainment experience. The PlayNow content store will add full-length movies that can be side-loaded to handsets for watching videos on the go. Executives said the catalog will be full of movies from various studios, and the company said it has not ruled out a subscription-based model.

Additionally, the company introduced the Media Go software, which will transfer audio and video files into the appropriate format for Sony Ericsson handsets.

"With Media Go there's no need to worry about format, resolution, and frame per second anymore," said Alexandre Cardon, Sony Ericsson's global marketing business manager, in a statement. "No longer will the video you transfer from your PC to your phone play in low resolution or bad quality."

Sony Ericsson introduced the Walkman W995 handset to show off these media features, and it features Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, assisted GPS, and an 8.1-megapixel camera. The midlevel phone also will have a YouTube application and software to edit the pictures, and the memory can be expanded via a Memory Stick Micro slot.


Sony Ericsson Idou

Sony Ericsson Idou
(click for larger image)

The company may have stolen the show with an early look at its Idou smartphone. The touch-screen smartphone has a 3.5-inch display, a massive 12-megapixel camera with Xenon flash, and it's capable of playing movies at widescreen ratio. It will likely also have Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, GPS, and all the expected connectivity option from a high-end handset.

InformationWeek was able to get a hands-on demonstration with the Idou smartphone, and the video can be found here.

The Idou is the first handset to officially announce it will run the open source Symbian operating system, which is expected to be finalized in 2010. Last June, Nokia said it would purchase the remaining shares of Symbian and spin it off into a royalty-free, open source operating system.


InformationWeek assessed the impact this move would have on the smartphone industry, and the report can be found here (registration required).