SonyEricsson unveils T68i, T300 successors

Mass market refresh

SonyEricsson might be winning the plaudits for its pioneering P800 smartphone, but it still depends on its bread and butter range to bring in the revenue.

Today it revealed the successors to the mainstays of its phone range. The T68i is replaced by the T610, which has an integrated camera, and which you can see here. It has a sleeker metal design and a larger 160x128 screen than its predecessor. The T300 is overhauled in the shape of the T310.

For the former, it's long overdue. The T68 phone was the phone "that saved Ericsson", halting three calamitous years of declining market share during which time the venerable Swedish phone pioneer had apparently forgotten how to produce a popular, mass market phone.

The T68 had color, Bluetooth, GPRS and themes. But that was back in the Fall of 2001, an eternity in the phone business. The aging T68i was essentially the T68 with a software update to support a detachable camera.

Like its predecessor, it's a GSM worldphone. Unlike the smartphones, such as the P800 which run an open platform, there's no expansion. And rather ominously we note the presence of share-denial technology, aka "DRM".

Is this a feature? I call it "a bug".

The T300 and the new T310 are aggressively pitched at games players. Despite this, and the over-the-top, Flash-heavy appeal to the Yoof market, it's basically a fine, no frills phone. But see how far you can get into this Macromedia Flash presentation before throwing your existing handset at your computer. ®

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