Virgin Mobile Announces LG Optimus Slider, HTC Wildfire S Android Smartphones

It looks like the pre-paid smartphone market is heating up with attractive options for those looking for smartphone power without the price and commitment of a regular post-paid account. Virgin Mobile USA, a subsidiary of Sprint and operates on Sprint’s 3G Now network, has just recently announced the LG Optimus Slider and the HTC Wildfire S, both Android smartphones running the latest Android Gingerbread operating system with attractive pricing.

According to Virgin Mobile, the Optimus Slider is an evolution of the popular Optimus V, a Virgin-branded Optimus One smartphone that’s targeted at the budget market but comes with a great user experience despite more modest specs on the hardware front. Targeted at social networkers and heavy messaging customers, the Optimus Slider comes with a sliding QWERTY keyboard as its name would imply.

Here are some specs for the Optimus Slider:

  • An easy to use 3.2-inch touchscreen with a slide out QWERTY keyboard and bright screen
  • Enjoy all of the apps in the constantly growing Android Market with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • Surf the Web and run apps on the Nationwide 3G Sprint Network
  • MicroSD support (<32GB) and a 3.2MP camera
  • Bluetooth® 3.0

The phone will be avialable October 17th through VirginMobileUSA.com, October 31st at Best Buy and Radio Shack stores, November 6th at Target, and November 13th through Sprint stores for $199.99 contract-free.

Next on the docket is the HTC Wildfire S, which will be available in silver at Best Buy and white at Radio Shack. The Wildfire S will launch on October 23rd at Best Buy and Radio Shack for $199.99 contract-free and will feature an HTC Sense experience on top of Android. Specs-wise, the device closely resembles the HTC Hero on Sprint’s network from a few years ago though aesthetically, the design of the Wildfire S more closely resembles the HTC Flyer Android tablet from the rear.

  • Color options of White (RadioShack) or Silver (Best Buy)
  • 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen
  • 5MP camera with flash
  • 3G and Wi-Fi capability
  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • 600MHz processor
  • HTC Sense – HTC’s custom-built experience, which puts information most important front and center by providing further customizable widgets and applications.

In addition to announcing these two phones, Virgin Mobile USA also announced its intentions to postpone data throttling for heavy data users until 2012. The decision to throttle users who consume large amounts of data was announced earlier this summer in July. Sprint, which owns Virgin Mobile USA, to date boasts that it is the sole carrier of the big four national carriers to not throttle data or implement caps on its smartphone data plans.

Press release:

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LG Optimus Slider Delivers Ease of a Full Keyboard to Popular Virgin Mobile USA Android-Powered Smartphone
WARREN, N.J.  Sept. 30, 2011 – Virgin Mobile USA expands its Android™-powered smartphone lineup with the upcoming availability of LG® Optimus™ Slider, providing a new smartphone option with an easy-to-use slide out keyboard. Perfect for the heavy social networker, LG Optimus Slider will be available Oct. 17 at www.virginmobileusa.com for $199.99. The smartphone will be available Oct. 31 in Best Buy and RadioShack stores; Nov. 6 at Target; and Nov. 13 in Sprint Stores.
LG Optimus Slider is the second generation of the popular LG Optimus V™, which launched in early 2011 and is currently available atwww.virginmobileusa.com for $149.99. It remains one of the most popular smartphones on Virgin Mobile USA.
“With the new LG Optimus Slider we’re bringing our customers an updated operating system and slide-out keyboard,” said Mark Lederman, Business Line director, Virgin Mobile USA. “According to NPD Group, year-over-year preference for a touchscreen has tripled among prepaid buyers, and 21 percent[[1] According to The NPD Group’sMobile Phone Track consumer tracking service.1] of all customers say that having a QWERTY keyboard is a motivating factor in making a purchase. Coupled with the popularity we’ve seen on the LG Optimus V we’re looking forward to bringing this fresh option to Virgin Mobile.”
“LG Optimus Slider delivers the convenience of a full QWERTY keyboard with the sleek lines of the LG Optimus series,” said Tim O’Brien, vice president of marketing for LG Mobile. “We look forward to providing Virgin Mobile USA consumers the ideal device for on-the-go messaging, emailing and social networking.”
Virgin Mobile USA Beyond Talk plans start at just $35 a month for 300 minutes of voice and include unlimited messaging and data. For those looking for a bit more talk time the $45 plan offers 1,200 minutes of voice, and the $55 plan offers unlimited voice minutes each month. All plans include unlimited messaging and data.
LG Optimus Slider offers users:
  • An easy to use 3.2-inch touchscreen with a slide out QWERTY keyboard and bright screen
  • Enjoy all of the apps in the constantly growing Android Market with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • Surf the Web and run apps on the Nationwide 3G Sprint Network
  • MicroSD support (<32GB) and a 3.2MP camera
  • Bluetooth® 3.0
LG Optimus Slider comes preloaded with Virgin Mobile Live 2.0 social networking lifestyle application used to access the Virgin Mobilebranded music stream, hosted by DJ Abbey Braden. The app also provides users of Android-powered devices free access to live music performance videos and “check in” features at special events. All status updates made using the app will also sync with Facebook® and Twitter®.
The previously announced decision to reduce throughput speeds when any Beyond Talk customer reaches 2.5GB of data usage within a current monthly cycle has been postponed to 2012.
ABOUT VIRGIN MOBILE USA
Virgin Mobile USA, one of Sprint‘s prepaid brands, offers millions of customers control, flexibility and connectivity through Virgin Mobile’s Beyond Talk™ No Contract plans with unlimited data for mobile phone service including Android-powered smartphones and prepaidBroadband2Go high-speed Web access. Virgin Mobile branded devices are available at more than 40,000 retail stores, including Target, Walmart, Best Buy and RadioShack. Top-Up cards are available at approximately 150,000 locations nationwide and can be used for Assurance Wireless and Broadband2Go services. Purchase and experience Virgin Mobile on the Web and at FacebookTwitter, You Tube and www.virginmobileusa.com.
About LG Electronics, Inc.
LG Electronics, Inc. (KSE: 066570.KS) is a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, mobile communications and home appliances, employing more than 93,000 people working in more than 120 operations around the world. With 2010 global sales of 55.8 trillion Korean won (USD 48.2 billion), LG comprises four business units – Home Entertainment, Mobile Communications, Home Appliance, and Air Conditioning & Energy Solutions. LG is one of the world’s leading producers of flat panel TVs, mobile devices, air conditioners, washing machines, and refrigerators. LG has signed a long-term agreement to become both a Global Partner and a Technology Partner of Formula 1™. As part of this top-level association, LG acquires exclusive designations and marketing rights as the official consumer electronics, mobile phone and data processor of this global sporting event. For more information, please visit www.lg.com.
 
About LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company
The LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company is a leading global mobile communications and information company. With its cutting-edge technology and innovative design capabilities, LG creates handsets that provide an optimized mobile experience to customers around the world. LG is pursuing convergence technology and mobilecomputing products, while continuing its leadership role in mobilecommunication with stylish designs and smart technology. For more information, please visit http://www.lgmobilephones.com.
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The HTC Wildfire S Marks the First HTC Smartphone forVirgin Mobile USA; Brings Stylish Options in Silver and White
                                                                                     
WARREN, N.J.  Sept. 30, 2011 – Virgin Mobile USA strengthens its Android™-powered smartphone lineup with the upcoming availability of the HTC Wildfire S™ in Silver at Best Buy® and White at RadioShack® built for consumers looking to express their personal style without a contract. The HTC Wildfire S in Silver is exclusive to VirginMobile. Social networkers and app users will enjoy the bright screen of the HTC Wildfire S and access to the Android Market. The HTC Wildfire S will be available Oct. 23 at Best Buy and RadioShack for $199.99.
“The HTC Wildfire S is the first HTC smartphone on Virgin Mobile and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring the Wildfire S™ to our customers,” said Mark Lederman, Business Line director, Virgin Mobile USA. “It is an attractive, easy-to-use and fast smartphone perfect for both the technically savvy and those looking to make the leap to a smartphone for the first time.”
Martin Fichter, president of HTC Americas, said, “The HTC Wildfire S is a compact and playful smartphone offering a unique silver color exclusive to Virgin Mobile customers. HTC offers intuitive and powerful technology for the smart consumer and that perfectly aligns with VirginMobile.”
Virgin Mobile USA Beyond Talk plans start at just $35 a month for 300 minutes of voice and include unlimited messaging and data. For those looking for a bit more talk time the $45 plan offers 1,200 minutes of voice, and the $55 plan offers unlimited voice minutes each month. All plans include unlimited messaging and data.
HTC Wildfire S offers users:
  • Color options of White (RadioShack) or Silver (Best Buy)
  • 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen
  • 5MP camera with flash
  • 3G and Wi-Fi capability
  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • 600MHz processor
  • HTC Sense – HTC’s custom-built experience, which puts information most important front and center by providing further customizable widgets and applications.
HTC Wildfire S comes preloaded with the Virgin Mobile Live 2.0 social networking lifestyle application used to access the Virgin Mobilebranded music stream, hosted by DJ Abbey Braden. The app also provides users of Android-powered devices free access to live music performance videos and “check in” features at special events. All status updates made using the app will also sync with Facebook® and Twitter®.
The previously announced decision to reduce throughput speeds when any Beyond Talk customer reaches 2.5GB of data usage within a current monthly cycle has been postponed to 2012.
ABOUT VIRGIN MOBILE USA
Virgin Mobile USA, one of Sprint‘s prepaid brands, offers millions of customers control, flexibility and connectivity through Virgin Mobile’s Beyond Talk™ No Contract plans with unlimited data for mobile phone service including Android-powered smartphones and prepaidBroadband2Go high-speed Web access. Virgin Mobile branded devices are available at more than 40,000 retail stores, including Target, Walmart, Best Buy and RadioShack. Top-Up cards are available at approximately 150,000 locations nationwide and can be used for Assurance Wireless and Broadband2Go services. Purchase and experience Virgin Mobile on the Web and at FacebookTwitter, You Tube and www.virginmobileusa.com.
About HTC
HTC Corporation (HTC) is one of the fastest growing companies in themobile phone industry. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC creates innovative devices that better serve the lives and needs of individuals. The company is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange under ticker 2498. For more information about HTC, please visit www.htc.com.

 

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