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A New Walkman Cell Phone

Boot Camp feature for Monday, June 20, 2005

A new Walkman cell phone. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Before the iPod came along, Walkman was the brand that defined portable music. Now, even before the first Walkman branded cell phone arrives…the W800…outside of the U.S., Sony Ericsson has announced a second model designed for American consumers. The W600 will be a less expensive cousin…without a Memory Stick slot and with a lower resolution built in camera. Sony Ericsson VP Steve Walker says 256 megabytes of built in memory will let people carry around about 75 songs. Will it replace a stand alone MP3 player…

"I think the important thing is we believe there is a new category of use, just as with camera phones where having a camera integrated in the phone meant you had a camera with you at all times. Still there is a market today for digital cameras. The great thing that we're doing with the W800, W600 is we're really establishing that the mobile phone is a credible digital music player."

Some rivals, such as Samsung, are starting to use small hard drives in phones…which could make them true rivals to stand alone music players. But Sony Ericsson President Miles Flint says…he's sticking with the Memory Stick for now…

"With Memory Stick Duo, we can now go up to 4 gigabytes. So I wouldn't rule out a hard drive at some point in the future, but only when we can incorporate it into the phone with the ruggedness that we can already achieve with memory stick."

Sony Ericsson President Miles Flint. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.