Lonely Planet download deal for Sony Ericsson

Lugging weighty travel guides may be a thing of the past, with Lonely Planet City Guides and Phrasebooks now available to download on Sony Ericsson handsets, in a new partnership between the two companies.

Twenty bestselling Mobile City Guides and ten Phrasebooks have been launched on Sony Ericsson’s Fun and Downloads portal, featuring essential travel information – from the best places to eat and shop, to the proper phonetic pronunciation of certain words and phrases.

Lonely Planet’s in-house mobile production team in Melbourne has worked in association with a third-party digital consultancy to create a series of Java applications, which can be downloaded via the Sony Ericsson website or handset.

The covers of Lonely Planet’s destination and language guides, designed by its in-house team, have been ‘lifted’ from the print into digital format and not been designed specifically for the application.

The Mobile City Guides will be available on Sony Ericsson handsets in 14 countries across the globe.

Ushma Patel, Lonely Planet head of business and development, claims that this latest partnership with Sony Ericsson is just the next step in the company’s ‘natural evolution of content’.

‘Lonely Planet is simply responding to the changing demands of the modern consumer, who wants to receive content and use guides in any ways that suits their travel patterns,’ she says.

Patel is keen to point out that these latest mobile guides are not meant to replace the traditional travel guide, but rather be used to complement it.

‘We predict that the market for mobile content will steadily increase, but for longer trips the consumer still wants the depth and breadth of background information that they can only get from the books themselves,’ she says.

Back in August, Lonely Planet announced a similar deal with Nokia, to sell maps and city guides to Nokia Maps 2.0 users, while its phrasebooks are already available to download on the Apple iPhone.

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