At the recently concluded 3GSM show, Sony Ericsson was pretty puffed about the fact that they sold 3 million Walkman phones in the six months since launch. They are betting that their W950, a 3G phone with 4 gigabytes of flash memory will push their market share and help fight off Apple’s iPod. The W950 is supposed to come out in the third quarter and will cost between $357 and $476, according to published reports. “This certainly ups the ante in the battle between Apple and the phone makers for mobile music,” said analyst Ben Wood at market research group Gartner..
I don’t think its going to be as easy. Take for example the six months SE sold 3 million walkman phones. During the same time frame, Apple sold nearly 21 million iPods. 14,043,000 iPods in the most recent quarter, and 6,451,000 iPods in three months prior to that. We at GigaOM are a bit mixed about the current generation of Sony Ericsson Walkman phones. Matt liked W600, but only because it was cheap. I think music phones are going to get quite popular in emerging markets because of the high cost of iPod, and lack of iTunes music store. I still think, the prices of these music phones need to come down quite a bit, and they have to become simpler to use, before they can seriously challenge iPod.