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CeBIT 2000: Ericsson devices get great reaction

Ericsson launches MP3 player for mobile phones

Hoping to steal a lead in the Hannover gadget fest this week, Ericsson demonstrated its first MP3 player, as well as a digital camera.

The MP3 Handsfree is a matchbox-sized device that clips on to the bottom of a mobile phone -- MP3 files are stored on Flash memory.

Sound is muted when receiving incoming calls, and the player is powered entirely by the phone's battery. Ericsson claims that this will have "negligible effect" on battery life. The device ships with a 32MB memory card and is expected to hit the streets sometime this summer.

The company also showed off the CommuniCam, a clip-on digital camera that allows users to take pictures and send them either to another device or to an online photo album. Images, at full VGA resolution (640 by 480), are stored on a removable Flash memory card.

"We were showing this as a prototype to get a reaction. If people said it sucked, we wouldn't do it," said Ericsson strategic product manager Alex Kengen. "We've had a great reaction, so this will definitely ship as a commercial product."

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See also, CeBIT 2000: A summary.

For full coverage, see ZDNet UK's CeBIT 2000 special.