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T-Mobile Shows Off 3G Multimedia Phone

Sony Ericsson's first T-Mobile handset will be optimized to utilize the carrier's nascent 3G networks.

Sony Ericsson TM 506
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Sony Ericsson TM 506
The Sony Ericsson TM 506 features 3G network capabilities, Bluetooth, assisted-GPS, and multimedia functions.

T-Mobile announced a new clamshell mobile phone that should help push its new 3G network.

The Sony Ericsson TM506 is a slim clamshell handset that will make use of the carrier's mobile broadband network by allowing users to surf the Web, download content, check RSS feeds, as well as send and receive e-mail.

The handset will also sport a built-in GPS chip that can use the 3G network for assisted GPS services. A TeleNav application will come on deck and provide users with maps and directions. The TM506 will offer address book backup, voice command functions, and Bluetooth version 2.0 capabilities.

A 2-megapixel camera will let users snap photos and video clips, and these can be uploaded over the air to an online sharing site. Additionally, the phone will have an integrated media player, and users can store songs on a removable memory stick micro.

The handset measures in at about 3.7 by 1.9 by 0.6 inches and it weighs 3.4 ounces. The TM506 will be available in early September at T-Mobile retail stores and through the company's Web site.

The company did not release a price point, but it's a good bet that it will be competitively priced, as T-Mobile hopes to push its 3G services. The mobile carrier's mobile broadband services lag behind its rivals, but the company is in the midst of an aggressive rollout of its UMTS/HSDPA network.

The phone is the first Sony Ericsson device for T-Mobile, and the move gives the handset manufacturer a much-needed opportunity to expand its portfolio. The company recently saw a 97% drop in net profits for the second quarter, mainly due to its overreliance on higher-end phone sales.