Sony Ericsson phones ignore iPhone threat

Music is the best way to reach the mobile phone-buying public's hearts and wallets. That was the reason why Sony Ericsson chose to present its new mobile phones at the Scala music venue in London last night.

As we predicted yesterday, the new Sony Ericsson W380i and Sony Ericsson W890i Walkman phones made their entrance alongside the new Sony Ericsson K660i, and a beefed-up version of Sony Ericsson's PlayNow Arena music service.

Taking on Apple's iTunes

Along with Nokia, which launched its Nokia Music Store last week, Sony Ericsson is taking on Apple in the battle for music fans and their money.

Sony Ericsson's TrackID lets you download the very latest tracks available in various local markets around the world. It enables you to record snippets of a song you've heard in a club or on the radio, and automatically downloads it.

"It's essential to offer a wide and relevant selection of music to customers," Björn Ahlberg, head of content and services at Sony Ericsson, told at last night's launch event. "We'll be working with all major record labels on the market, as well as more independent and local labels."

Music downloads not just for kids

Ahlberg admitted that downloading music is a function mostly used by youngsters. But he added that this is likely to change when older people discover how easy it is to find your favourite artists and tracks, and download them.

"Many download services throughout the years have been too complicated. We want to make it as easy as possible for our users," Ahlberg said.

Sony Ericsson also introduced its new CEO, Dick Komiyama, who only joined the firm last week. He said his aim was to make Sony Ericsson one of the top three companies within mobile telephony. It is currently in the number four position, with Nokia the clear leader.

The new Sony Ericsson MD300 mobile broadband USB modem was also launched. All new products will be available in the first quarter of 2008. Pricing details will be available nearer to launch.