February 6, 2006 10:35 AM PST
Sony Ericsson's music-playing messenger
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The M600 is the latest Symbian operating system-based phone to come out of the Sony Ericsson stable and is aimed at e-mail-hungry users. It comes with support for Microsoft's ActiveSync, Research In Motion's BlackBerry Connect and a number of others, including Intellisync and Seven's offerings.
The device also comes equipped with scaled-down versions of Microsoft programs including Excel, PowerPoint and Word, as well as security software.
And, like the all-conquering BlackBerry, the device will come without a camera, in an effort to appeal to IT managers' budgetary sensibilities. It is also devoid of Wi-Fi capability.
In addition to capitalizing on the popularity of mobile e-mail, Sony Ericsson is hoping the device--which is just 15 millimeters thick and comes in black or white--will also charm the visually discerning.
"It's the iPod among messaging devices," said a Sony Ericsson spokesman. "A lot of consumers buy with their eyes."
Despite bearing all the hallmarks of the smart phone, such as a multitasking operating system, the device will be advertised to potential buyers as a messaging device, the spokesman said.
Sony Ericsson has also announced new functionality for the previously announced but yet-to-launch P990 smart phone, including the addition of push e-mail support, WLAN (wireless local area network) and business-card reading capability.
Both the P990 and the M600 will be available from the second quarter of this year.
Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.
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