Sony Ericsson on Thursday announced five new mobile phones for the end-of-year holiday shopping season, including two flip phones, two Walkman phones and one with Chinese character handwriting recognition.
All new models will be available in shops during the third quarter of 2006, expanding the line-up of models with which the world's No. 5 phone maker will battle with its main rivals in the important fourth quarter when sales peak.
So far this year, the Japanese-Swedish joint venture has unveiled more than 20 new models. It introduced 30 models in all of last year.
Over the last 16 months it has adopted the popular Walkman music and Cybershot camera brands from Sony for high-end music and camera phones, but it also announced its first low cost model in February.
The W710 Walkman includes a motion sensor and fitness software programs to keep track of physical exercise while listening to music from the radio or stored on the phone's memory cards.
A strap and special earphones are designed for wearing it during a work-out. It will be priced between 200 and 300 euros before operator subsidies and local taxes.
The W850 Walkman slider model connects to third generation mobile phone networks for fast music downloads. New software makes it easier to navigate through thousands of songs and find names of tracks. It can also record straight from the radio.
It will cost more than 300 euros before subsidies and taxes.
Of the two flip phones, the Z550 model will be priced at between 150 and 200 euros, just cheap enough to be included in important pre-paid phone packages which are subsidized by mobile operators.
Sony Ericsson expects high data traffic and revenues for mobile operators as a result of the relatively high-end features such as a 1.3 megapixel camera, color screen and web browser.
The more expensive Z710 business phone, priced between 200 and 300 euros, has a 2 Megapixel camera and connects via most 2G GSM networks.
The M608c is a version for the Chinese market of the M600 email phone that was announced in February and which will start selling this quarter. It can recognize Chinese characters written on the touchscreen and will be available in the third quarter of 2006.