Verizon adds colour handset to mobile internet service


Verizon has announced the availability of Motorola’s T720 colour-screen handset to customers of its ‘Get It Now’ mobile internet service. The T720, shown earlier this year at Motorola’s 2002 porfolio launch, operates on Verizon’s CDMA2000 1xRTT network at speeds of up to 144 Kbs. It also supports BREW, the application execution environment developed by Qualcomm.

Users can download games, polyphonic ringtones and wallpapers to customise the clamshell handset. Verizon’s existing ‘Get It Now’ handsets have greyscale screens. The network operator has also expanded the range of applications available to users through partnerships with various content developers, including electronic entertainment vendors Hasbro, Jamdat and EA Sports.

“The combination of the new Motorola T720 colour-screen phone and Verizon Wireless’ Get It Now service makes mobile communication more than just a phone call or sending an SMS message. Consumers can create their own experience by easily downloading new applications to work and play in living colour,” said Joe Woods, vice president product operations, Motorola’s Personal Communications Sector.

The T720 is priced at USD 299, with an additional USD 100 mail-in rebate offer for customers who send in a working wireless handset.

Insight

The addition of a colour screen handset should help to demonstrate the potential of BREW to US consumers. Qualcomm’s application execution technology has gained good traction with developers and there is a wide range of content already available.

Verizon’s branding efforts with ‘Get It Now’ – foresaking technology references in favour of slick consumer presentation – should be applauded. Where it falls down, however, is in its failure to reflect this consumer marketing in its pricing plans. These remain confusing and archaic, with some users being billed for airtime rather than individual application purchases.

Until Verizon can provide a selection of colour screen handsets and a modern data tariff, it will lose business to Sprint’s more compelling Vision offering.


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