A host of new multimedia mobile phones are poised to hit retail shelves just in time for the holiday sales season. Just a week after Verizon unveiled a touch-screen iPhone competitor as part of its fall device lineup, Sprint pulled the curtain back on a pair of new devices as well.
The biggest splash in the music department is the Samsung limited edition B’Phone, a Beyonce-branded version of the UpStage music phone originally introduced earlier this year. It was unveiled this morning (Oct. 11) at the Samsung store in New York’s Time Warner Building.
The handset features gold-and-burgundy colors designed by Beyonce, a Beyonce-themed startup screen and the ability to download exclusive Beyonce photos, videos and a song she recorded as a child.
“When I was 10, I recorded a song called ‘632-5792’ — a phone number. It’s a little embarrassing but it’s cute. There’s a recording of that song on the phone exclusively for my fans,” Beyonce told journalists. “I wanted to make sure people got a feel for who I really am. It’s only through this phone that you can get this close to my life.”
“Beyonce is a global superstar,” music mogul Steve Stoute, who brokered the deal via his Translation Company, tells Billboard.com. “Her fans love music, they love pictures and they love talking. A phone is a natural extension for Beyonce. It’s about working products that her fans like to indulge in.”
In addition, the B’Phone showcases a dual-sided design, with an MP3 player on one side and a phone on the other. It also provides easy access to Sprint’s multimedia content, including Sprint TV and the Sprint Music Store.
The company also introduced the Rumor from LG, pitched as a “social networking” device thanks to its text messaging and IM functions. A “text tones” feature allows users to assign specific alerts for incoming text messages from different people, much like what is done with ringtones today.
Meanwhile, Sony/Ericsson announced its new Walkman branded phone will be on store shelves this month. The W910 lets users shake the device to skip between music tracks and has a SensMe music recommendation feature. The company also introduced a line of portable Bluetooth speakers that can be used to stream music from a Walkman phone.