Sony plans to launch Wi-Fi mobile device

09 Aug 2006

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) Hoping to tap into the growth of wireless networks across college campuses, other public spaces and within homes, Sony is set to announce a new pocket-sized gadget for instant messaging and other Internet-based communications.

The Sony "mylo," slated for availability in September at a retail price of about $350, is a first-of-its-kind product that uses Wi-Fi networks, analysts say.

It is not a mobile phone and thus doesn't carry monthly service fees. And though it could handle Web-based email services, it doesn't support corporate email programs.

Instead, the slim, oblong-shaped gizmo that has a 2.4-inch display and slides open to expose a thumb keyboard is specifically geared toward young, mainstream consumers for messaging and Internet-based calls.

As long as a Wi-Fi network is accessible, a mylo user could chat away or browse the Web.

The mylo, which stands for 'my life online,' will be marketed toward 18- to 24-year-olds, Sony said.

Sony has partnered with Yahoo and Google to integrate their instant-messaging services, and is looking to expand mylo's support to other services.

Sony has also teamed with eBay's Skype VoIP service, which offers free voice chats for its registered users.

The so-called personal communicator doubles as a portable media player. It can play music, photos and videos that are stored on its internal 1Gb of flash memory or optional memory stick card. It also can stream songs between mylo users within the same network, as long as the users grant permission to share their music files.

c 2006 The Associated Press

c 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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