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Sony Corp. said it is set to introduce its first wireless broadband communications and entertainment device, aimed at heavy users of instant messaging.

Sony’s new “mylo” personal communicator is a hybrid electronic device that competes with a range of gadgets already on the market, including the Sidekick, created by Danger Inc., and Nokia’s 770 wireless Internet mini-tablet.

The name mylo stands for “my life online” and provides users access to online instant messaging services, HTML Web pages, e-mails and to play music or view photos. Mylo will be available in September retail for about $350, Sony said.

Sony is borrowing the name mylo from a prior, ill-fated generation of its handheld devices the Japanese consumer electronics giant had planned to launch in the United States on September 11, 2001 but subsequently canceled.

The mylo was the last product in its discontinued line of Clie devices, which were aimed at business and professional users and would have competed with Research in Motion’s Blackberry or Palm Treo devices.

The mylo is meant to operate on Wi-Fi wireless networks, which are increasingly available on college campuses, in busy public spaces and in homes with wireless broadband connections.

It is a small, oblong device with a 2.4 inch screen and a slide out keyboard designed for typing with one’s thumbs.

The device bears similarities to Sony’s PSP gaming device, but is targeted at a different market: socializers who are heavy text message users and music fans, rather than gamers.

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