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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Sony Ericsson Unveils Cybershot Mobiles


Sony Ericsson unveiled six new mobile phones on Tuesday and said that two of them have cameras good enough to carry Sony's Cyber-shot digital camera brand.

It is the second brand transfer by Japanese consumer electronics parent Sony to its mobile phone joint venture with Sweden's Ericsson . A year ago Sony Ericsson, the world's number five handset maker, adopted the Walkman brand for its music phones.

"These phones deliver the same digital still camera experience as Cyber-shot. It is only now that we felt we could adopt the reputable Cyber-shot brand," said the venture's head of global product marketing, Steve Walker.

Sony was the world's second-biggest producer of digital cameras in 2004, according to market research IDC, and it uses the Cyber-shot brand to market its products.

The K800 and K790 mobile phones feature a 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera, an image stabilizer, a flash which is brighter than usual for mobile phones and a sensor that can snap nine full resolution images within a second. The technology, including software to improve picture quality, comes from Sony.

"There was extremely good cooperation," Walker said.

Two variants -- a model for 3G mobile networks and one for older 2G networks -- will be available in the second quarter at prices above 300 euros ($355.4) each before operator subsidies.

Four cheaper camera and Walkman phones were also unveiled on Tuesday including a camera phone for less than 100 euros and a Walkman phone priced between 100 and 200 euros, the cheapest Walkman model yet.

The joint venture plans to start selling the six new models in the second quarter. They will bring its new phone introductions so far this year to 11, compared with 30 new models last year.

"We'll have more product launches in 2006 compared with 2005," Walker said.


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