February 6, 2006 10:35 AM PST

Sony Ericsson's music-playing messenger

Sony Ericsson has taken the wraps off its newest messaging-focused phone, which may remind you of an iPod but is not meant to remind you of a smart phone.

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.

Sony Ericsson phones

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.

See more CNET content tagged:
Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, messaging, smart phone, spokesman, WLAN

3 comments

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alas
alas,an atypical sony device always a follower, never an innovator!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
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Never?
Get with reality. Sony is often a leader, and more often than most. What company, and why, is a better example of an innovative company?
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
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