Sony Ericsson is preparing to launch its first-ever device that incorporates AM/FM radio.

The R300 Radio and the R306 Radio phones were designed for the global market and will be launched in selected countries worldwide and throughout Latin America by Christmas time.

The AM capability, in particular, is seen as an asset in emerging markets, where consumers are expected to use the phones not only to listen to music but also to sporting events like soccer games.

"We talk a lot about the future of music and sophisticated technology. But this is a very simple and straightforward concept that will make music more relevant in the mass market," says Stephan Croix, Sony Ericsson's marketing VP for the Latin American region.

The R300 and R360 phones don't allow users to download tracks from the radio, but they do come equipped with an ID track feature that identifies the song and artist played. The phones come in flip and bar format and are actually designed to look like a transistor radio that users can either listen to with headphones or built-in speakers.