Sprint adds Sanyo handset to Vision range


Sprint has expanded the range of handsets supporting its CDMA2000 1x Vision service with the addition of the Sanyo 4900.

The handset features a colour screen, J2ME compatibility, support for polyphonic ringtones, a WAP 2.0 browser, messaging and chat applications. Priced at $179.99, the Sany 4900 is designed as an entry-level model for consumers wishing to take advantage of the new Vision features, including high speed data access and rich, colour applications. Sprint claims it can last for up to 16 days in standby mode.

“The 4900 is expressly designed to take full advantage of the advanced voice and data capabilities of PCS Vision on the enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network,” said Atsushi Kodera, group vice president, general manager of Sanyo Fisher Company’s Communications and Information Technology Division. “The vivid colour screen of our 4900 is the most advanced that Sanyo has ever introduced on a mobile phone in North America. This feature-laden handset also offers consumers a wide variety of Java and WAP 2.0 information and entertainment options.” John Garcia, senior vice president of sales and distribution for the PCS division of Sprint, added: “The PCS Phone by Sanyo 4900 places the Vision-enabled advancements into one device at an affordable price of $179.99 in Sprint Stores nationwide. The Vision-enabled Sanyo 4900 builds on a popular form factor with key features such as strong battery life and a quality, hands-free speakerphone by adding a full-colour screen and Java capability for downloading interactive popular game titles.”

Insight

Sprint’s concentration on colour handsets and a consistent marketing theme for its Vision service will be reassuringly familiar to followers of the Japanese wireless data market. The $179.99 pricepoint brings this handset well within reach of middle America, but the real issue will be the availability of compelling content.

Sprint has its impressive PCS Business Connection service to attract mobile professionals, but it will need to look beyond ringtones and games if it is to make Vision into a mass consumer proposition. The lack of an integrated picture messaging handset is particularly baffling. Surely this would be the perfect showcase for its CDMA2000 1x network?


Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.
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