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Verizon Worldphone Selection Expanding Down To $29.99

Basking Ridge, N.J. – Verizon Wireless expanded its worldphone selection to seven models with the launch of the clamshell Escapade, developed by Personal Communications Devices of Hauppauge, N.Y.

The dual-band CDMA 1x/quadband GSM/GPRS device, priced at $29.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, will be the carrier’s lowest priced worldphone. It became available Aug. 21 online at

and in Verizon stores, and it follows the recent launches of two other world phones, the $199 BlackBerry Tour smartphone and $49 HTC Ozone smartphone.

The Escapade’s price includes new two-year customer agreement. The $50 rebate takes the form of a debit card.

The Escapade, unlike the BlackBerry Tour and HTC Ozone, is neither a 3G phone nor a smartphone. The Tour, like the BlackBerry Storm worldphone, operates in 850/1,900MHz 3G CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A mode in North America and in W-CDMA HSPA mode in the overseas 2.1GHz band. The HTC Ozone, based on the Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard OS, operates in 3G mode only in North American 850/1900MHz Rev. A networks.

The other Verizon world phones are the Samsung Saga Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional smartphone with touchscreen and hard QWERTY keyboard, Samsung Renown and BlackBerry 8830 World Edition smartphone. They operate in North American 3G networks but not in overseas 2.1GHz HSPA networks.

Though it lacks 3G, the 3.4-ounce Escapade features 2-megapixel camera with dedicated camera button and antique, black and white, and negative color effects. Other features include preinstalled GSM SIM card, voice command, speakerphone with dedicated speakerphone key, hands-free Bluetooth, 2.5mm headset jack, 2-inch main display with 262K TFT color, 1.1-inch color external display, talk time up to 226 minutes and standby time up to 316 hours.

It’s compatible with such Verizon services as Mobile Email, Mobile Web Mail, Mobile IM, Chat, MMS, navigation and Chaperone child-tracking service.