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Sony Ericsson Music Download Phone

Published måndag 22 maj 2006 kl 15.41

Sony Ericsson will offer in Japan a Walkman cell phone next month that will enable users to download music onto their handsets in a partnership with No. 2 mobile carrier KDDI.

Sony Ericsson, Sony Corp.’s mobile-phone joint venture with Sweden’s LM Ericsson, already offers a Walkman phone that’s a portable music player in other parts of the world. But such a product is a first for the Japanese market, where more than 90 percent of the music downloads are carried out directly into cell phones, rather than personal computers.

The  Walkman Phone W42S handsets from Sony Ericsson will come with 1 gigabyte of built-in memory that’s enough to store 630 songs, and will play for 30 hours straight, company officials said.

Sony Ericsson has already sold 5.5 million Walkman phones in the rest of the world since August last year, and hopes the handset will catch on in Japan as well. The Walkman phones in Japan will connect to a digital music store operated by KDDI Corp. called Listen Mobile Service, or Lismo, for downloading music and will also download tunes directly into the cell phone in a separate KDDI service called ”chaku-uta” that’s already popular in Japan.

KDDI leads the Japanese market in cell phones that download music, and 47 million songs have already been downloaded through the chaku-uta service. But in the mobile phone market, it trails Japan’s top mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo Inc., which has about a 60 percent market share.

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