Irvine, Calif. - Alcatel One Touch, a part of Chinese company TCL Communications, is increasing its exposure in the U.S. with the launch by Virgin Mobile of the $99 Android-based Venture, Virgin's lowest-priced Android to date.
Alcatel One Touch, based here, entered the U.S. market in 2007 by selling to regional carriers, and in October 2011, Alcatel sold a phone to a national carrier for the first time. That model was the Sparq for the T-Mobile network, said Personal Communications Devices (PCD), which handles the logistics for the Alcatel Venture.
The launch of Alcatel's Venture through New Jersey-based Virgin, a Sprint prepaid brand, is part of an Alcatel plan announced at International CES to expand the Alcatel product portfolio here in 2012.
For Virgin, the launch of the Alcatel Venture at $99 brings an Android smartphone to a new opening price, joining the $279 Triumph, $129 LG Optimus V, and a $179 HTC model, Virgin said.
The new phone will be available at
on March 15 and at retail stores sometime after that, Virgin said. The phone features Android 2.3 OS, 2.8-inch touchscreen QWERTY keyboard, 2-megapixel camera with LED flash and video capture, Bluetooth 3.0, included 2GB MicroSD card and a memory-card slot supporting 32GB MicroSD cards.
At CES, Alcatel unveiled the One Touch 995 Ultra with 4.3-inch touchscreen, 1.4 GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera with flash and autofocus, HD video recording and an HDMI port.