Who says Nokia is the only one packaging music access into upcoming phones?
Sony Ericsson is up to the same tricks, and pushing its concept along a similar timeline.
Early this morning, Sony Ericsson confirmed a number of details related to its PlayNow Plus offering, slated for release during the fourth quarter. The music-focused mobile manufacturer confirmed that Swedish carrier Telenor would be its first partner, and that other carriers would join during the first quarter of 2009. That mirrors a release strategy by Nokia, which is planning to unleash its Comes With Music pre-packaged concept next month in the United Kingdom. Nokia is planning an official unveiling ceremony October 2nd in London.
The Sony Ericsson service will be inaugurated with a modified W902 Walkman, according to the initial details. Powering the backed is Omnifone, a company that also handles pre-packaged mobile music offerings for Vodafone, Telenor, 3 Hong Kong, Vodacom, and LG. Sony Ericsson would not disclose the total number of tracks involved, though it did point to the “largest music catalog of any unlimited download service,” a claim that probably means several million songs. Sony Ericsson did confirm the participation of all four major labels, as well as thousands of independents, and pointed to over-the-air delivery capabilities.
Sony Ericsson also indicated that PlayNow Plus participants will be able to keep an undisclosed number of tracks, DRM-free, after their contracts end. Songs will be accessible across a phone and PC, similar to the Comes With Music architecture.