Feeds

Sony Ericsson kicks off Barcelona love-in

Let us entertain you

The Power of One Infographic

MWC: It's the first morning of the mobile industry shindig in Barcelona, but Sony Ericsson couldn't resist jumping the gun by announcing a couple of new handsets last night - even if the interesting one isn't actually going to be available until Christmas.

It's still too early to tell how the economy is affecting business here in Barcelona. Companies booked their stands before the meltdown so are trying to hold a brave face, even if there are noticeably fewer faces on each stand. But the big players are still planning big news, with just about everyone announcing an application store at some point in the next few days and Microsoft's badly-kept secret being unveiled this afternoon.

But those big players are also worried, behind their grins: no one is prepared to bet who's going to come out the other side of the forthcoming squeeze, and even the household names are worried about the future.

Sony Ericsson W995

Sony Ericsson wants us to know they are about "love", and communication and entertainment: they mercifully refrained from using the word "communitainment", but we suspect it's just a matter of time. That means putting brands together, and shrinking the product range as well as pre-announcing a couple of handsets.

One of them is being launched at the show, so should be available soon; the W995 is a standard affair if pretty enough. Much more exciting is the Idou (a working title, apparently), Sony Ericsson's first bash at a S60 v5 device with a big screen and finger-driven interface.

But the company tried hard to draw attention away from the hardware, which was good considering the Idou will be lined up for Christmas: the point about this new kit isn't that there is so little of it - shrinking the product range makes sense in the current climate - but that the Idou sports both the Cybershot and Walkman brands, something that Sony has hitherto prevented happening.

Sony Ericsson contends this is because it's never before been able to achieve the requisite quality in both sound and imaging, but a cynic might suggest that it's time to squeeze all the value out of those brands while they're still worth something.

Sony Ericsson Idou

All I want for Christmas is a S60 version 5 handset from Sony Ericsson, what luck!

Sony's presence in the partnership doesn’t appear to go beyond awarding brand marks; Sony Ericsson made much of the ability to link the new handset to a PS3 for playback, but that's utilising the DLNA standard and owes nothing to Sony. It would have been nice to see support for BRAVIA Sync, which makes connecting a Sony video camera to a Bravia television such a breeze, but of that there was nothing.

At least there should be plenty to watch, Sony Ericsson will be adding movies to their Play Now product - enabling subscription-based access to a movie library, watch as much as you want for a monthly fee. Once it's got operators to roll out with that should be interesting, but the company wasn't being drawn on the details as yet.

Announcing products so early in the cycle is not typical. It might calm investors and demonstrate that the company has a plan, but when that plan involves announcing a state-of-the-art handset that won't be available for nine months - time enough for the competition to leapfrog the company - they might not be as relaxed as Sony Ericsson would like. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.