Sony Ericsson unveils new GSM gadgets

Sony Ericsson showed the world its new line of global system for mobile communication (GSM)-enabled phones and gadgets Tuesday, featuring enhanced gaming and photographic capabilities.

The company also introduced a general packet radio services (GPRS)-enabled wireless LAN (WLAN) PC-card and a new online application shop, both for its P800 Smartphone.

Using 802.11b technology, the GC-79 PC-card is set to go to market in the second quarter of 2003. By employing this technology, users of the P800 will be able to access the Internet, intranet and company networks globally at data rates of up to 11Mbps.

Also for use with the P800 phone, the company will unveil later this year the GC-82 Edge PC-Card that boasts similar functionality, but can connect to wireless networks at three times GPRS speeds, according to Lone Misikini, general manager, Sony Ericsson Canada.

Misikini said the P800 phone is targeted towards the professional “gadget freak,” and features an integrated digital camera, 4,096-colour screen, 12MB of internal storage and a pen-enabled user interface. Bluetooth-enabled, it also behaves as a personal digital assistant (PDA) with features such as a built-in calendar and integration with Microsoft Corp.’s Outlook, and IBM’s Lotus Notes. It runs on a Symbian 7.0 operating system.

Equipped with short-message-service (SMS), this Java-enabled device is also capable of downloading games.

In order to develop applications for the P800, Sony Ericsson has partnered with IBM Corp., and will also open an online application shop where users can purchase applications for that device.

Also announced Tuesday, Sony Ericsson’s new T616 phone features a built-in digital camera and is the first Sony Ericsson device equipped with what the company calls QuickShare technology. This lightweight device is compatible with GSM 850/1800/1900 frequencies.

“QuickShare is a two-click way to take a picture and send it to a friend,” Misikini explained to crowd of journalists at an event at the Grand Hotel & Suites in Toronto. It features a 65,536-colour screen, supports Bluetooth, Java, Mophun (C++) and runs on a Symbian operating system. Users can personalize the phone by taking photos and turning them into screensavers or wallpaper. It features polyphonic sound, force feedback and a five-way navigational joystick. Users can also download games for the device and play games online.

For use in tandem with the T616, Sony Ericsson created the MPF-10 phone flash. Allowing the user to take photos in dimly lit environments, it also features a Melody Composer – an application which allows a user to select pre-recorded musical loops to compose a song.

Sony Ericsson also introduced the GSM-enabled T313 phone geared towards the youth market that mainly features enhanced gaming and imaging features. It will also be available in the third quarter of 2003.

Sony Ericsson also offered a peek at its 3G phone slated for release in Europe in the second half of this year. While there was no news about when the device would be available on our continent, the Z1010, is a clamshell dual-mode device that features broadband capabilities and will run on GPRS networks.

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