By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — Alltel Wireless has begun offering its products and service for the first time through Best Buy, which is offering select Alltel phones in about 40 stores in Alltel's footprint.
Alltel also sells through its own stores, indirect agents, Wal-Mart and Target. Alltel employees also operate "stores within stores" in Kmart and Circuit City locations, the carrier said.
Initially, Best Buy is offering the following Alltel models: LG's Glimmer and Scoop, the BlackBerry Curve, Motorola's Razr V3a and Rokr Z6m, and the Alltel Hue.
MIAMI — Prepaid-cellular provider TracFone Wireless is happy with a Texas resident's guilty plea in a U.S. District Court to criminally disobeying a federal court order prohibiting him from buying and altering TracFone-subsidized phones and reselling them as new in the United States and abroad.
"TracFone will continue to aggressively pursue those who participate in prepaid mobile-phone trafficking because it undermines our ability to provide an affordable, quality mobile phone to our customers," said TracFone president/CEO F.J. Pollak.
"TracFone heavily discounts the retail price of its phones far below its own cost but expects to recoup its investment by providing service to customers through its sales of airtime cards and other services," the company stated. Prepaid-phone traffickers such as Muhammed Mubashit alter TracFone's proprietary prepaid software and repackage the phones, but "in most cases, the phones don't work as they should, and the manufacturer warranty is voided," added TracFone attorney James Baldinger.
Prepaid-phone traffickers use groups of runners to purchase prepaid phones from major retailers, pass them onto middlemen who remove TracFone software, and resell them as new "at a significant profit," the company said.
IRVINE, CALIF. — Phone maker Hop-On unveiled a $10 prepaid dual-band GSM phone that lacks a display to keep costs down.
The 850/1,900MHz Hop1800 can be used with Hop-On's own prepaid Graffiti Wireless service or sold as an unlocked phone for use with domestic or international SIM cards. The company called it "ideal" as a backup cellphone, for use when traveling abroad, or just for anyone looking for a cheap phone.
The device weighs 2.7 ounces and offers four hours of talktime or 150 hours of standby time. It features polyphonic ringtones and tactile numeric keypad with Braille markings. The company offers a $5 rebate for returning the phone to encourage recycling.
The device is available on the company's Web site and is available to retailers such as drug and convenience stores and big box retailers. Hop-On can also imprint sport teams or corporate logos on the device, the company said.
WARREN, N.J. — Prepaid service provider Virgin Mobile USA added a Samsung handset to its lineup for the first time with the launch of the Samsung Slash at $79.99.
The slim slider is equipped with a VGA camera, Bluetooth, email, instant messaging and text messaging. Other features include speakerphone, voice-activated dialing and preloaded games. It also has access to Virgin Mobile USA content, including animated and real-music ringtones and ringback tones, as well as Headliner — Virgin Mobile USAs' exclusive mobile music magazine with on-demand access to music-related content like artist news, charts and concert dates.
The Slash weighs 3 ounces and measures 3.8 inches by 1.8 inches by 0.7 inches. It delivers to 3.5 hours of talktime and about 170 hours of standby time.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.