by CIO Staff

Sony Ericsson to Offer Japan’s 1st Walkman Cell Phone

May 22, 20062 mins

Sony Ericsson said on Monday that it has teamed up with Japan’s number-two mobile phone carrier, KDDI, to offer Japanese consumers a Walkman-branded cell phone that can be used to download music directly to the handset so no PC is needed, the Associated Press reports via the Plainview Daily Herald.

While Sony Ericsson, a joint venture between Sony and Sweden-based LM Ericsson, already offers a number of Walkman cell phones in other countries, the handset the two companies will make available is the first of its kind in the Land of the Rising Sun, according to the AP.

Japan’s mobile phone market is one of the world’s most complex, with users employing handsets for everything from traditional phone calls to playing video games to performing local searches for eateries or other establishments.  Upward of 90 percent of downloaded music files in Japan go directly to cell phones, the AP reports. 

Sony Ericsson’s Walkman phone features 1GB of memory, or enough to save approximately 630 songs, and it links to KDDI’s Web music store, called Listen Mobile Service, for simple music downloads, according to the AP.

Koji Otsuka, a KDDI representative, told the AP, “We want to offer a variety of products through our powerful brand collaboration with Sony. We are a brand that caters to music lovers.”

Though KDDI owns the Japanese market for cell phones that download music, it trails NTT DoCoMo in the traditional cell phone space, the AP reports.

Pricing details were not announced, as they’ll be set by individual retailers, according to the AP.

Just last week, Sony unveiled five new mobile phones, including two Walkman phones. For more, read Sony Ericsson to Release Five New Mobile Phones.

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