Virgin Mobile USA is soon to launch its first handset that uses tech from newly acquired Helio. Just as predicted, the slider phone will indeed include advanced features like social networking and other mobile services "through partnerships with Accuweather, ESPN, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Yahoo!" and others. There's also Virgin Mobile's first location-based services like "Buddy Beacon" (a friend-finder) and "Where," which supplies local service info. The 3G EV-DO handset is set to cost below $100, have a 1.3-megapixel cam, Bluetooth and a 2-inch screen, and will be exclusively out at Best Buy Mobile and BestBuy.com on 28th September. Press release below.
WARREN, N.J. Sept. 10– Video and web entertainment on a cell phone without the hassle of a contract just got a whole lot faster. Virgin Mobile USA and Personal Communications Devices, LLC [PCD] are launching the Shuttle, Virgin Mobile USA's first EV-DO handset, designed with high performance for data and content in mind. Available exclusively at Best Buy Mobile and BestBuy.com as of September 28, the Shuttle ushers in a new era of performance for consumers who demand the flexibility of monthly plans with no contract but also feel the 'need for speed.'
Following Virgin Mobile USA's recent acquisition of Helio, the Shuttle will be the first handset enabled to integrate several features from the Helio portfolio. This will include improved access to social networking communities and other mobile internet sites through partnerships with Accuweather, ESPN, Facebook*, MySpace, YouTube, Yahoo! and more.
The Shuttle is also slated to feature Virgin Mobile's first location-based services from uLocate including:
· Buddy Beacon®, the popular 'friend-finder' solution which allows customers to find friends in a crowded city and show where they are and what they're doing; and
· Where™, the application that delivers local information to easily discover nearby places and things of interest such as locating the lowest gas prices, finding local events, and getting restaurant recommendations.
According to Bob Stohrer, Virgin Mobile USA's Chief Marketing Officer, the time has arrived for Virgin Mobile USA to make the 3G leap. "With the Helio acquisition and the new Shuttle, we've made a strong move into 3G, satisfying our customers who want the speed and affordability, while greatly enhancing our handset line-up just in time for the holidays," Stohrer said.
Jam-packed with features such as a 1.3 megapixel camera, 2'' screen; video capture, playback and messaging, integrated media player that supports both streaming and sideloaded music, stereo Bluetooth** wireless technology, and SD card support, while sporting a stylish S-curve design in a compact slider form factor.
"Virgin Mobile USA is a natural fit for the handset, especially considering their game-changing commitment to innovation, service and value," said Philip Christopher, President, PCD. "The Shuttle is the latest in a long line of PCD offerings that deliver on that commitment, a tremendous and affordable device that will surprise and delight discerning Virgin Mobile USA consumers, just in time for the holidays."
New Virgin Mobile USA Mobile Web Offer
With the new Shuttle, Virgin Mobile USA is also introducing its first Mobile Web data packs as add-ons to calling plans, as more and more customers access the mobile web and other mobile data services. "Data is the center of growth in wireless. This handset is a perfect fit for our new Mobile Web, heavily discounted for customers who purchase a monthly voice plan, and a big benefit for users looking to take advantage of the fast web-browsing abilities," said Stohrer.
For Monthly Plans: $ 5.00 - 20 MB Surf the Web, Unlimited VirginXL [WAP deck]
$10.00 – 50 MB and Unlimited VXL
For Pay As You Go: $ 5.00 – 5 MB Surf the Web
$10.00 – 20 MB, Unlimited VXL
$20.00 – 50 MB, Unlimited VXL
The new Shuttle adds a cost-effective and attractive product to Virgin Mobile USA's lineup, as customers have access to a host of calling and messaging plans without annual contracts, including the $79.99 Totally Unlimited voice plan that provides unlimited calling without roaming charges, activation fees or a two-year commitment. Here are highlights of the Shuttle handset:
· Sleek and small, this slider measures 3.9" x 1.9" x 0.7" – all at just a shade over 3 ounces and about the size of half a candy bar, the phone fits perfectly in a pocket or the palm of a hand.
· EV-DO 3G-capable data speeds for browsing mobile internet and downloading content.
· Boasts a 1.3 megapixel camera, 2" screen, video capture and video messaging, a music player, stereo Bluetooth*, and SD card support.
· Comes preloaded with an array of playful games, along with downloadable animated and Real Music ringtones.
· More than 235 minutes of talk time and nearly 2 weeks of standby time on a single charge
· Room for 500 contacts that accommodate 5 numbers, 2 email addresses, 2 IM handles and 1 website slot for each contact.
· Has Virgin Mobile USA's Contact Vault, which allows customers to store, retrieve, delete and transfer their wireless phone's personal contacts list online in the event the phone is lost, stolen, damaged or upgraded.