The U.K. arm of the Orange mobile phone network is bolstering its music-compatible handsets with a customized device, due to roll out this week. Separately, the telecoms giant is also supporting a Sony Ericsson-branded Walkman phone, which is scheduled for an August launch.
The Orange SPV C550 device is a smartphone digital music player hybrid with dedicated play, rewind and fast-forward keys. It will be marketed under the company’s “Great for Music” campaign and made available at Orange retail outlets.
The device comes pre-installed with Orange’s music player, which is capable of storing up to 170 tracks accessed from the Orange World portal. The service also remixes tracks for creating ringtones. Orange World has a licensed catalog of 300,000 songs — including major-label hits — which are digitized in the AAC+ format.
Orange is also going to be the first to issue the new Sony Ericsson W800i Walkman phone in the United Kingdom.
Due on Aug. 12, the W800i will be supported by a major marketing campaign to place it in competition with the iPod, insiders say. The W800i will come with headphones, a dedicated media player, and a cable for transferring music to and from PCs. It can store up to 10 CD albums.
Both the C550 and the W800i are free to Orange customers as part of certain subscription packages.