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Monday, June 1, 2009

Sony Ericsson Unveils PS3-compatible Phone

As part of its Christmas line-up of products, Sony Ericsson introduced a new phone that will allow consumers to connect to their PS3 gaming consoles remotely. The new phone, known as Aino, will let users access media content such as music, videos, and photos from the PS3 while on the go. Sadly, Aino will not allow users to play games or access high-definition video from the phone.

Aino can also synchronize with media files on your PC using Sony Ericsson’s Media Go multimedia manager. Sony Ericsson AinoAs for the phone itself, Aino features an 8.1-megapixel camera with geotagging capability; 3G, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity; a physical keypad; and a three-inch touchscreen.

Sony Ericsson, the world’s fifth largest handset maker, has lost some of its market share as competition in the mid-market handset segment has increased. The company believes wireless operators are hungry for phones that can drive data usage without requiring huge subsidies. Given that interest in the company’s years-old Sony-branded Cybershot camera phones and Walkman music phones has faded, Sony Ericsson now must find new models to renew interest in its brand. The Aino is one of three new phones the company hopes will help it make a comeback.

In February, Sony Ericsson announced the Satio (previously known as the Idou) at the Mobile World Congress show. The Satio has a 12-Sony Ericsson Satio megapixel camera, a 3.5-inch widescreen touchscreen display, and runs on Symbian S60 5th edition. Satio users will also be able to play 3D and high-definition games on the handset as well as watch various types of media files.

Another new Sony Ericsson phone called the Yari contains accelerometers that can be used for motion controls with games similar to Nintendo’s Wii controllers. The Yari has a 5-megapixel camera, assisted-GPS, instant messaging, and Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support.

Sony Ericsson YariExpect the new phones to be available in select markets later this year, likely in the fourth quarter. No U.S. launch dates have been given, however, Jon Mulder, head of North American product marketing, did say “currently we do anticipate that these models will be unlocked in various channels in the U.S. We have yet to announce operator partnerships.”

Sony Ericsson also plans to launch a virtual software applications store. The company plans to announce additional details concerning the store at next week’s JavaOne Conference.