RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – I have proof in my desk, and I use it almost daily, that I am ready for the AARP crowd.

The antique is my Sony Walkman complete with cassette tape player and AM and FM radio.

I felt even more antiquated this week when the folks at Sony Ericsson unveiled their counter to the forthcoming and very hyped iPhone from Apple that goes on sale later this month.

It’s called the Walkman 960i.

And this high-tech phone is loaded, making my old Walkman even more obsolete than me.

The Walkman 960i is a mobile entertainment device to the extreme.

One reviewer calls it “8 gigabytes of Walkman love.”

The Sony Ericsson team, which has a major operation in RTP, features what it calls Shake control.

While playing games or listening to music, you can switch gears or songs by SHAKING it.

This gives a whole new meaning to shake, rattle and roll.

Not only can the Walkman store up to 8,000 songs it also includes a large 2.6-inch touch screen for TV-quality video, a digital phone, and supports video chat.

The 960i also comes with a Bluetooth stereo headset – you know, one of those clip-on-your-ear devices that are all the rage these days.

Pardon the pun, but it sounds and looks like Sony Ericsson Walkman is ready for the iPhone challenge.

As for me, I need to retire that Walkman.