Sony declined to offer an immediate comment on Tuesday after images and other details of a purported new series of Walkman digital music players appeared on the Internet.
The NW-A002, A003 and A005 players will be available in 512M-byte, 1G-byte and 2G-byte capacities and will be priced below equivalent capacity Apple iPod Nano players, according to a report on the Atrac Life Web site. The site also carried several professional-looking images of the supposed new players.
In the images, the players look like USB Flash Disks, have a small OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display, a control button on the front and a built-in USB connector. This makes them look like a somewhat more complex version of the iPod Shuffle.
The reports were kicked off by a Swedish Web site, which called them the NW-E series rather than the NW-A used by the Atrac Life Web site. The Swedish site also posted video of someone holding the device and showing it from several angles.
The site quoted prices ranging from 800 kroner (US$103) for the 512M-byte NW-E002 to 1,400 kroner for the 2G-byte NW-E005. In Sweden, Apple sells it's 512M-byte iPod Shuffle for 725 kroner and its 2G-byte iPod Nano for 1,995 kroner.
A Sony spokeswoman in Tokyo said the company was attempting to confirm the details and wouldn't be able to comment until it had verified the information in the reports. She also said the company was unable to confirm whether the images on the Web sites were handouts from Sony.
If the reports are correct the players would be the first new Walkman flash-memory models since Sony launched its Walkman Bean models in the second half of last year.
The Atrac Life report can be found at http://www.atraclife.com/2006/03/26/new-nw-a-002-003-005-series-to-debut-soon/ and the original Swedish report at http://prylportalen.mkf.se/ArticlePages/200603/23/20060323122918_MKF855/20060323122918_MKF855.dbp.asp?iForum=6&iNote=25911.