Sony Ericsson to unveil two models by Sep; to open 242 stores by '09

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New Delhi, Jan 24 (UNI) Leading mobile handset maker Sony Ericsson today said it will launch two entry-level models in the second quarter of FY2008-09, and scale up its retail chain up to 300 from the current 58 outlets by 2009.

''The R300 and R306 have been designed for India and will be manufactured in Chennai plant. The phones will be available from the second quarter of the year,'' said company General Manager (India) Sudhin Mathur.

Both the handsets are entry-level models and will be priced between Rs 3,500 to Rs 5,000, he added.

The company is also looking at expanding its retail chain.

''We are looking at 300 stores by 2009. The company had 58 stores in 2007,'' company Head (Asia Pacific) Lennard Hookim said.

The company had earlier said its manufacturing capacity will touch 10 million units by 2009. It has also set up a research and development unit in Chennai last year.

It currently manufactures its J110i, J120i, J121i and W200i models in its Indian facility.

According to its report, 37 per cent of the respondents looked for radio as the most desired feature, while 83 per cent of the mobile users listened to the radio at least once a day on their phones.

''For the first time, we have a phone with AM/FM. It also has features like speakerphone, radio alarm clock and has volume boost available for noisy situations,'' Mr Hookim said.

The company will also launch two models -- T280 and T270 globally -- in the first quarter of the year.

T280 will be equipped with a 1.3 MP camera, radio, speakerphone, bluetooth and Java. T270 has been made keeping in mind the companies who do not allow cameraphones on the work floor, as it has all the features of T280 without the camera.

''India is an important market for Sony and will help in achieving a place among the top three global players,'' he said.

According to a study by Gartner, mobile phone production in the country is expected to grow by a CAGR of 28.3 per cent to 107 million units by 2011, while the revenue will grow 26.6 per cent to 13.6 billion dollars in the same time.

UNI SR MP KP1752

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