Overland Park, Kan. – An Android 4.0 smartphone will launch at $19.99 for the first time on the Sprint network when the carrier begins offering the 3G Kyocera Rise, which features both a full-QWERTY slide-out keypad and touchscreen display.
The phone will be available Aug. 19 through all Sprint retail channels. Its price is after $50 mail-in rebate.
In addition, Sprint’s Virgin Mobile prepaid service will offer the phone starting Aug. 31 at $99.99.
Earlier this year, Sprint launched a $19.99 3G Android phone, the ZTE Fury, but that phone launched with Android 2.3. A $19.99 Android phone launched in late 2011 by Sprint also lacked the 4.0 version of the OS.
The Kyocera Rise phone is designed to appeal to feature-phone users who want to step up to a smartphone but don’t want to sacrifice a hard QWERTY keyboard. About half of mobile users still use feature phones with keypads and are comfortable using keys, said Eric Anderson, senior VP/GM of global sales and marketing for Kyocera Communications. Kyocera Rise “will appeal to those underserved consumers.”
Features include 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive 480 by 320 IPS LCD touchscreen display, Swype technology for rapid touchscreen text entry, 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 3.2-megapixel camera with an LED flash and 30 fps camcorder, and 1,500 mAh lithium-ion battery to deliver more than 8.5 hours of talk time.
Other features include MicroSD card support up to 32GB, Wi-Fi b/g/n and stereo Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.