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SonyEricsson stressed the musical heritage of one of its parent companies at International CES, where it launched its third Walkman-branded music-centric cellular phone and a pair of accessories that amplify music stored on its handsets.
The newest phone, the W810, will be available in the second quarter in the United States. It will follow the Walkman-branded W600, available since November through carriers Cingular and SunCom and through other distribution channels, the company said. The first Walkman phone, the W800, launched last August through the SonyStyle Web site and Sony-Ericsson's site.
Like its immediate predecessor, the W810 bar phone is a quadband GSM/ EDGE worldphone with music-dedicated buttons, dedicated camera button and dual-front design that looks like a camera on one side and can be held like a traditional camera to take pictures. The W810, however, adds removable memory, ups the digital camera pixels to 2 megapixels from 1.3, and adds autofocus. Its predecessor features 256MB embedded memory and no removable memory. The W810 features only 20MB internal memory, but for maximum media-storage capacity, the phone is packaged with 512MB removable memory in the Memory Stick PRO Duo format, which is also available in capacities up to 2GB.
The W810 and the W600 potentially could store music downloaded by PC from Sony's Sony Connect music-download service, but Sony Connect hasn't yet enabled that feature, SonyEricsson said. The suggested retail, before carrier subsidies, is $499.
The two music-related accessories due in the second quarter include a desktop amplified docking station that recharges any Walkman phone and reproduces its music through the station's speakers. The MDS-60, targeted to retail for about $299, includes subwoofer and outboard antenna, which can be used with the W600's embedded FM radio. It runs off AC or batteries.