For the visually impaired, using a mobile device hasn’t always been easy. Kyocera Kona from Sprint (NYSE: S) helps to solve that problem by providing an easy-to-use compact flip phone that is the first feature phone in the industry to offer verbal translation enabling Internet browsing.
Kyocera Kona is available in direct-ship sales channels Web ( www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) for free after a $50 mail-in rebate via reward card 1 and with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade. It will be available in all remaining Sprint retail channels beginning Friday, Sept. 13. Kyocera Kona is the latest enhancement to Sprint’s product portfolio designed to ensure accessibility for all.
According to the National Federation of the Blind, more than 6.5 million people reported a visual disability in 2011. 2 Kona is also the first feature phone to offer a user interface with verbal descriptions of navigation, with which the device describes what is highlighted on the screen and works with menus, messaging, contacts, missed calls, notifications, and many other functions.
Other accessibility features include variable speed text to speech service, which reads texts to users, high-contrast user interface options to accommodate a variety of vision ranges, dedicated In Case of Emergency (ICE) and 911 shortcuts, and a tactile keyboard with well-defined buttons."Sprint has always been dedicated to ensuring accessibility – whether it’s our award-winning accessibility Sprint ID application bundles or a device like Kona providing first-of-its-kind features for the visually impaired,” said David Owens, vice president-Product Development, Sprint. “We are providing this product free of charge because we want anyone who has a unique need to be able to take advantage of this great new offering.” The new Unlimited, My Way SM rate plans for basic phones feature unlimited talk, text and data while on the Sprint network for only $60 per month (excluding taxes and fees). Sprint Kyocera Kona customers can benefit from The Sprint Unlimited Guarantee that promises customers unlimited talk (calls to any wireline or mobile phone), text and data while on the Sprint network, for the life of the line of service. This guarantee is available to new and existing customers who sign up for Sprint’s new Unlimited, My Way SM plan and will apply to customers as long as they remain on the plan, meet the terms and conditions of the plan and pay their bill in full and on-time. “Almost half of American cell-phone users have not made the jump to smartphones, so there is clearly a significant demand and need in the market for easy-to-use feature phones that don't require additional data plans,” said Eric Anderson, senior vice president and general manager of global sales and marketing at Kyocera Communications. “We addressed that need and went one step further in adding incredible accessibility features that make Kona a reliable communication tool for the visually impaired.”