News » 2006 » Virgin Mobile USA Switch_Back Handset by KYOCERA Wireless Is Sure to Make Teens :-)


Virgin Mobile USA Switch_Back Handset by KYOCERA Wireless Is Sure to Make Teens :-)

Text-Happy Camera Phone Features Pre-Loaded AOL Instant Messenger, Email Applications and Web Browsing - And Bridges the Gap Between Man and Mime

WARREN, N.J. -- (April 11, 2006) -- This spring, teens with a passion for messaging should look no further than Virgin Mobile's new Switch_Back™ handset by Kyocera Wireless. The first wireless handset to include wildly-popular AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) already loaded and ready to run, the Switch_Back combines eye-catching design, advanced technology and affordability to fit the needs of any young person on the go, and will be available exclusively through Virgin Mobile in the U.S.

Weighing in at just over 4 ounces, the sleek and stylish Switch_Back offers great functionality within a compact and trendsetting clamshell casing. Among its most notable features are two vibrant color displays. The first display on the front face of the phone is for voice calls. But by turning the phone sideways and giving its face a quick flip, users reveal the Switch_Back's widescreen - along with a sizeable QWERTY keypad designed to make emailing, texting, IMing, gaming or browsing online a breeze.

"Switch_Back's sophisticated communications capabilities, along with its refined design and affordable price tag make it the perfect fit for Virgin Mobile customers," said Howard Handler, chief marketing and strategy officer for Virgin Mobile USA. "With this phone, our customers get the total package - text messaging, IM, the Web and a camera - all at their fingertips and within their budgets."

"We're excited to continue our winning partnership with Virgin Mobile USA," said Tom Maguire, vice president of global marketing at Kyocera Wireless Corp. "With its cool content, unique look and suite of tools designed around today's mobile lifestyles, the Switch_Back is the ideal constant companion for Virgin Mobile customers. This is going to be a hot handset for 2006."

The new Switch_Back offers much more than good looks and fun features. It also helps Virgin Mobile customers serve the greater good by connecting with the once-isolated community of mimes. Through Switch_Back's keen text capabilities, Virgin Mobile is bridging the gap between man and mime in a dramatic, colorful advertising campaign that showcases the plight of these forgotten, silent artisans. When TV, outdoor and Web spots hit in early May, America will see that it's finally possible to befriend the mime. As part of the campaign, Virgin Mobile will allow users to Adopt-a-Mime and let the two engage in an ongoing text-based dialogue for months to come.

Don't be fooled by its slim figure. The Switch_Back scores big with innovative features, which include:

  • Large hidden QWERTY keypad
  • Dual display screens - External 65k color 128 X 128; Internal 65k color 128 X 160 widescreen
  • VGA Camera with 32mb memory and five-step digital zoom
  • Integrated speakerphone
  • Superphonic "real-music" ringtones
  • WAP 2.0 Web Browser
  • Integrated loop antenna
  • Scheduler, calculator, alarm and stopwatch

Those looking to get their game on will find hours of distraction with two preloaded demo games: Sexy Poker; and Lemonade Tycoon. Switch_Back users also have access to Virgin Mobile's full suite of high-octane mobile content, called Virgin XL. With Virgin XL, customers download the latest and greatest ringtones, wallpapers, screensavers and games, use the phone to set up a "Rescue Ring" or even identify tracks heard on the radio with Song ID.

The Switch_Back by Kyocera Wireless will be available in April 2006 at over 20,000 retail locations nationwide, including, Best Buy, RadioShack, Rite Aid, Sam Goody, Sprint Stores, Trans World Stores, Target Stores, and select Follett Campus bookstores. The handset will retail for $149.99. Kyocera Wireless also will offer a full suite of Genuine Accessories by Kyocera™ to support the phone. Information on these accessories is available at

About Virgin Mobile USA, LLC
Launched nationally in July of 2002, Virgin Mobile USA, LLC is the nation's first wireless network created for and defined by youth. Virgin Mobile is a joint venture between Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Sprint Nextel, which operates one of the largest 100-percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless networks in the United States. The country's first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Virgin Mobile's four million customers have access to a service portfolio that includes multiple voice pricing options, a full range of handsets and a broad array of messaging, music and mobile content offerings - without long-term contracts. In addition, J.D. Power and Associates has recognized Virgin Mobile for providing "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience" under its Certified Call Center Program.SM

Virgin Mobile Pay as you Go phones are available at more than 25,000 stores, with Top-Up cards available at more than 80,000 locations nationwide. Virgin Mobile products can also be purchased online at or by calling Virgin Mobile At Your Service (1-888-322-1122).

About Kyocera Wireless Corp.
Kyocera Wireless Corp. is a leading supplier of innovative, feature-rich CDMA wireless devices and accessories for customers worldwide. Kyocera Wireless maintains an operating belief in the genius of simplicity and strives to make the wireless experience as simple and intuitive as humanly possible. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kyocera International Inc., which acquired QUALCOMM Incorporated's CDMA consumer wireless phone business in February 2000. Based in San Diego, the company is ISO-14001 and ISO-9001 certified and has won city, state and federal awards for its environmentally friendly manufacturing and recycling practices. For more information, please visit

Kyocera Corporation (NYSE: KYO), the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of advanced ceramics. By combining these engineered materials with metals and plastics, and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of telecommunications equipment, semiconductor packages, electronic components, cameras, laser printers, copiers, solar energy systems and industrial ceramics. During the year ended March 31, 2005, Kyocera Corporation's consolidated net sales totaled approximately US$11 billion (JP¥ 1,180,655 million) with net income of approximately US$429 million (JP¥ 45,908 million).


© Kyocera Wireless Corp. All rights reserved. Kyocera is a registered trademark of Kyocera Corporation. All other marks are properties of their respective owners.



Kyocera Wireless Corp.
John Chier
phone: 1-858-882-3543
CooperKatz & Co. for Virgin Mobile USA
Jennifer Kronstain
phone: 1-212-455-8016
LaForce & Stevens for Virgin Mobile USA
Jennifer Hinchey
phone: 1-212-242-9353, x. 147