updated 11:40 am EDT, Tue September 19, 2006
Although Sony-Ericsson is one of the best-known musicphone manufacturers, its Walkman phones have never had a compatible music service designed to work with them; their format support is limited to AAC and MP3 files. The cellphone alliance is changing its approach with Tuesday's announcement of the new M-BUZZ portal. In contrast to other cellphone music services such as Verizon's VCast, Sony-Ericsson is not opening the site as a conventional music store. M-BUZZ instead will initially serve as a means of highlighting specific Sony artists and their music, offering songs and other content from the musicians that can be downloaded by supporting phones. The first phones ready for the site's features are the higher-end W850 and W950 models shipping before the end of 2006, with more support to come at the same time as new phones arrive. Sony-Ericsson opens access to M-BUZZ on October 2nd.