With the mobile phone market heating up and traditional manufacturers worried what effect the introduction of Apple's iPhone will have on the market, Sony Ericsson along with others is launching a barrage of new handsets hoping to offer a plethora of choices to any would-be consumer.

"We want to broaden market appeal to in an attempt to grow the company", says David Hilton, head of marketing at Sony Ericsson UK and Ireland.

Sony Ericsson, currently the fourth largest handset maker in the world behind Nokia, Motorola and Samsung, is hoping the latest handsets announced to the press in Berlin, Germany, last night will help them climb up that retail ladder.

To do that the company has focused its efforts on its Walkman and Cyber-shot models. Topping the pile is a new Walkman handset complete with 8GB of memory capable of holding 8000 songs and a new Cyber-shot model with a 5 megapixel sensor pushing the possibilities of images on your mobile phone yet further along.

But rather than just focus on the handset hardware, Sony Ericsson believes that a greater emphasis is needed to differentiate from the other handset manufacturers. It's turned to software to do this, perhaps borrowing a trick from Apple, as Steve Jobs recently declared that software was the reason Apple enjoys success with the iPod, and that in the phone specific marketplace:

"Manufacturers have the hardware down, but they just can’t seem to get the software right. The iPhone is great software wrapped in wonderful hardware, and its software is 5 years ahead of anything else out there."

Certainly ahead of the market is Sony Ericsson's Shake technology that is on both the W960 and K850, which allows used to shake their handset to control it.

"SensMe is just another engaging way for customers to use their phone and we want our phones to be experience led rather than technology led", says Hilton. "People don't like to be surrounded by technology that doesn't do anything - you want compelling reasons for the technology, rather than it just being there for being there sake."

Perhaps hinting at more things to come, especially since the pattern leak last month that Sony is working on a PSP phone, the new W960 will feature a strong focus on games with one of them, a game called Marble Magic, allowing users to use the motion control element to control in game actions.

So does that mean we are to see that PSP phone soon? Hilton refused to comment, however, did say that there is a clear demand for games on handsets on the go.

Pointing to the success of Sony's PSP and Nintendo DS, he felt that the technology is starting to reach a point where Sony Ericsson would be able to provide experiences that are compelling enough for people to want to play games on their mobile.

"The Shake feature, brighter bigger screens and more processor power can only help."

As for the motion sensor, whether it's used for gaming or moving on to the next music track or rotating an image, Sony Ericsson believes people are ready for the technology:

"People are used to motion control with the success of the Wii and we think that building this into the handset is going to drive demand."

So has all the introduction made the company loose sight of what it's trying to achieve in the first place, i.e., a mobile phone? Hilton doesn't think so.

"We have a phone first, extras second mantra at Sony Ericsson. Making calls, text messages and communication is the most important factor here", says Hilton.

Perhaps taking a swipe at Apple and HTC's almost buttonless designs Hilton said: "If you look at our latest models we use a number of different input techniques to allow you to interact with the phone; a touchscreen, the keypad, shortcut buttons. You need that combination to work effectively. People always want choice."

So what's next for Sony Ericsson? Hilton isn't saying, however with a range of handsets already announced over the last couple of months and a due dates in the shops not till the end of the year, it looks unlikely that we will see more handsets soon from the Swedish manufacturer.

We will keep you posted.