Sony Ericsson to offer Walkman cellphones
Sony Ericsson announces its mobile music strategy for 2005 including the integration of high quality digital music players into stylish mobile phones under the world famous Walkman brand. This will create a compelling consumer proposition capable of redefining the digital music market and driving operator revenue. Based entirely on open standards, the strategy will focus on delivering easy-to-use music phones supported by a full range of exciting music download services including Sony Group digital music offering.
A credible mobile music player must combine a wide variety of key features such as easy-to-use software to copy music to the device, large music storage capacity, long battery life, quality headphones and cutting edge design. Sony Ericsson will integrate these with advanced phone functions such as excellent voice, messaging, imaging, and on-line connectivity, to give a device that not only satisfies consumer needs, but also offers great opportunities for network operators to develop new and exciting services.
“The Walkman showed us that people of every generation love listening to music while on the move, and we believe the mobile phone is the perfect device to extend the world of digital mobile music to a much wider audience,” says Miles Flint, president of Sony Ericsson. “Since its creation, Sony has sold more than 340 million units of Walkman branded music devices globally, illustrating the mass appeal of mobile music. Sony Ericsson is proud to write a new chapter in the Walkman story".
Sony Ericsson’s range of Walkman-branded phones will support the most popular digital music file formats and services. Sony Ericsson believes that supporting open standards is the best way of offering operators and consumers both the highest quality and widest choice of services to meet their individual needs. In support of this, Sony Ericsson announces its collaboration with Sony’s music download service Connect, which will open on-line digital music purchasing to mobile phone users in various countries around the world. The Connect service is currently available in the US, UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands and is expanding rapidly. Since its launch in 2004, Connect has attracted hundreds of thousands of registered subscribers and is already compatible with millions of portable Sony devices.
The first Walkman branded Sony Ericsson music phones will be announced in March and enable users to transfer their existing CD collections to their phones via a PC. Future products will be capable of playing copy-protected music files purchased and downloaded via a PC from the Internet or direct to the phone.
Sony Ericsson’s successful P900 and P910 smartphones already support the world’s first personalised mobile streaming solution, offered by an operator in Finland under Sony’s StreamMan brand. PlayNow, Sony Ericsson’s popular ringtone download service, operated on a global basis in conjunction with Sony BMG Music Entertainment, has attracted hundreds of thousands of users in its first months of operation.
Sony Ericsson will continue to work with a number of music partners including Sony Group companies to offer attractive and easy-to-use consumer download and music streaming services with more announcements later in the year.
The Connect service currently offers consumers over 800,000 music tracks from major label and independent artists, as well as the ability to enjoy that content on a wide range of digital music devices that are priced to suit any lifestyle.