Sprint (NYSE: S) and Kyocera Communications, Inc. today announced the launch of Kyocera Rise, an Android™ smartphone with a full QWERTY slide-out keypad and high-resolution touchscreen display. Kyocera Rise offers feature-phone loyalists the ability to easily move up to a smartphone without losing their tactile keyboard or spending a lot of money.
Equipped with Android 4.0 operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, Kyocera Rise will be available in all Sprint retail channels, including Web Sales ( www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) beginning Sunday, Aug. 19, for $19.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate with a new line of service or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement. It will be available without a contract at www.virginmobileusa.com beginning Friday, Aug. 31, for $99.99. (Pricing excludes taxes.)
“Kyocera Rise brings customers the comfort of an easy-to-use Android smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard,” said David Owens, vice president-Product Development, Sprint. "It is a great option for customers who are new to smartphones, parents looking for the perfect first device for their teens and tweens or anyone looking for a device with an impressive set of features at a great price. This is a perfect addition to round out our Android portfolio.”
A survey by industry analyst firm Yankee Group earlier this year revealed that 69 percent of consumers called a QWERTY keypad a “must have” or “nice to have” feature on their mobile devices. Kyocera Rise combines that feature with a 3.5-inch IPS LCD touchscreen display for easy navigation, Web browsing and stunning displays of pictures and video.“There’s a significant population of underserved consumers out there for whom a touchscreen simply isn’t enough,” said Eric Anderson, senior vice president and general manager-Global Sales and Marketing, Kyocera Communications Inc. “For these people, keys are a vital feature. Along with smartphone users who love their keys, approximately half of mobile users still have feature phones with keypads, so they’re comfortable using keys. Kyocera Rise has all the features you’d want in a smartphone in an attractive and affordable 3G device that will appeal to those underserved consumers.”