Among the big draws are 7 megapixel camera phone and a Walkman dramatically different than its analog predecessor.

 

Major telecom providers such as Lucent also unveiled more than a dozen new deals with European customers at the CeBIT trade fair in the German city, pushing forward optimism that spending in the volatile sector is making a comeback in 2005.

 

South Korea's Samsung said its new SCH-V770 mobile phone sports a seven-megapixel camera, putting the image quality on par, or better, than most of the traditional digital cameras that are available to consumers, which range from four to six megapixels in quality.

 

Even at four megapixels, a digital photo looks like a normal print. A price for the handset wasn't disclosed, but it was expected to go on sale by June.

 

German phonemaker Siemens AG announced the first of three planned phones it is making itself for use on third-generation networks.

 

Next-generation market

 

The company believes the FXG75 will help it secure more of the next-generation market amid tough competition from Motorola Inc., Nokia and others.

 

The phone will go on sale in the third quarter for $667 to $934.

 

Sony Ericsson and Nokia Corp., meanwhile, emphasized their focus on converging mobile phones with mobile entertainment, showing off phones that featured the ability to download and listen to music.

 

"We've looked carefully at what people want from a mobile digital music player and have designed a product that fits the bill"

Rikko Sakaguchi,
Sony Ericsson executive

The joint venture between Sony Corp. and Sweden's LM Ericsson showcased its new Walkman phone, breathing new life into a name associated with music on the go since the late 1970s - but radically advanced compared to the cassettes of the 1980s.

 

"We've looked carefully at what people want from a mobile digital music player and have designed a product that fits the bill," Rikko Sakaguchi, senior vice president for production and application planning for Sony Ericsson, said.

 

The company's W800 sports a 2 megapixel camera and a digital music player.

 

Finland's Nokia, which is also looking towards music as a new drawing card for buyers of its stylish phones, showed off its 6230i 1 megapixel cameraphone, as well as its 6021 and 6030 models that sport the ability to download and play music.

 

Analysts at CeBIT said that making customisation by individual operators an option was key to pushing the growth of cell phone sales.