Apple's Bluetooth-phone partner Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications has announced several new mobile phones in the hope of revitalizing its flagging market share worldwide. The range of products, announced before the launch of the CeBit IT trade show in Hanover, Germany, next week, appears to offer a little bit of something for almost everyone seeking new game and messaging features in the company's core Asian, European and North American markets.

In the highly competitive North American market where Sony Ericsson faces tough competition from homegrown players like Qualcomm and Motorola, the Japanese-Swedish venture has launched its T608 CDMA (Code Division Multiplex Access) handset with integrated Bluetooth wireless technology, the company said in a statement. The Bluetooth-embedded handset is able to communicate via a radio link with other handsets using the same wireless technology, eliminating the need for a physical connection.

The Java-based T608 allows users to download ring tones, games, images and other applications directly into their mobile phones. The large 65,536-colour screen with a 128-x-128-pixel resolution is designed with gamers in mind, Sony Ericsson said. The phone also has a five-way navigational integrated joystick, advanced voice operation capabilities and a wide range of personalization options.

The T606 has a large 65,536-colour, 128-x-128-pixel screen, and a five-way navigational joystick, the company said. The camera is available with the CommunicCam MCA-25 snap-on camera accessory.

Rotating motion-eye For the Japanese CDMA market, Sony Ericsson developed the new A1301S mobile phone with an integrated digital camera featuring a new rotating motion-eye technology. The camera is built into the clam shell-shape handset that allows the lens to be turned approximately 290 degrees. This feature allows users to check the image in the LCD screen display while taking a photo, including self-portraits. The phone can also be used for moving images.

Another A1301S feature is encoding images in real time. This capability enables customers to use the camera to capture objects that are moving in a quick and natural way, according to Sony Ericsson. They can monitor images at speeds of up to 30 frames per second without creating a movement shadow on still photos. Another feature of the phone is the "Chaku-Uta" service, which allows Japanese customers to use natural voices of popular artists as ringer tones and wake-up alarm calls.

For the large GSM (Global Service for Mobile Communications) market, Sony Ericsson unveiled T310, a mobile phone targeting young users particularly interested in games. The phone comes preloaded with the popular Tony Hawk's Pro Skater game. The new handset also offers MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) capabilities via the MCA-25 digital camera attachment.

With an eye to the MMS market, Sony Ericsson introduced its T610 phone with an integrated digital camera. The handset will be available with the Phone Flash accessory allowing photos to be taken in dimly lit environments. The product allows users to send photos to MMS-enabled mobile phones, PCs and other consumer devices. It runs on both GSM and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) networks in all available bands.

Gamers will be interested to learn that T610 supports both Java and Mophun (C++) platforms for downloading games and enabling games to be played with other people via Bluetooth. The phone also features the Music DJ melody composer for creating MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) song files, which can be used as ring signals. The application allows users to select prerecorded pieces of music for ring tones.

For music lovers in particular, Sony Ericsson launched HBM-30, a small music-playing device for songs recorded in MP3 and ATRAC3 (Adaptive TRansform Acoustic Coding 3) audio file formats. The device, which uses Sony's Memory Stick Duo for music storage, can be connected to any Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. When a call comes in, the music is muted, giving the user a choice between taking the call or not.

Sony Ericsson has yet to announce prices for the new products, most of which will be shipped in the second quarter.