Virgin Mobile's New 'Cyclops' Brings Music to Text Messaging
New Handset from Kyocera First to Feature 'TXT Tones' From Major Record Label; Warner Music Group First Music Company in U.S. To Provide Music Catalog for Text Tones
WARREN, NJ and SAN DIEGO, CA, (October 31, 2006) -- With its eye-catching two-tone red and white facing, lightweight clamshell design, and new messaging features, the new Cyclops camera phone from Virgin Mobile USA and Kyocera Wireless is one monster hit for the holidays. Cyclops also includes two innovative and exciting texting features: TXT Tones and Audio Messaging.
Cyclops is the first phone to benefit from an agreement between Virgin Mobile and Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG), giving U.S. cellular customers access to music-based TXT Tones from Virgin Mobile. With access to hundreds of tunes from WMG's catalog, Virgin Mobile is the first wireless provider in the U.S. to launch an exclusive text tone deal with a major record label. The 3.5-ounce Cyclops is also the first handset to carry Virgin Mobile Audio Messaging, or VAM, which allows instant messages to be sent by voice instead of keyboard. Pearl-white with a red stripe down the middle, Cyclops also includes a 1.3-megapixel camera, long battery life, cool games and Superphonic, real music ring tones.
"We know our audience looks for features to personalize their mobile phone experience, and these texting enhancements allow us to deliver on that," said Dan Schulman, chief executive officer of Virgin Mobile USA. "Throughout 2006, we've continued to add exciting and affordable new choices to our handset line-up and Cyclops is no exception."
"Our strong ongoing relationship with Virgin Mobile has brought some unique and feature-packed Kyocera phones to market this year, including the Switch_Back and now Cyclops," said Tom Maguire, vice president of global marketing at Kyocera Wireless Corp. "As the holiday season is about to kick off, we're excited to have a breadth of affordable Kyocera phones available for Virgin Mobile's eclectic mix of texters, callers, IMers and photo takers."
"Warner Music Group is always looking for innovative ways to expand our digital product offerings in the mobile space. As the first music company to launch music SMS tones earlier this year in Europe, we are now delighted to make text tones available, for the first time in the U.S., to Virgin Mobile customers who want to personalize their handsets," said Alex Zubillaga, Executive Vice President, Digital Strategy and Business Development, WMG. "It's exciting to take the lead in offering consumers unique new digital products, enabled by our partners' platforms."
Cyclops takes text messaging to a new level with TXT Tones that work just like ring tones, but are linked to text messages. Virgin Mobile's new TXT Tones allow the phone user to program a short clip of a song alerting that a new text message has been received on his or her handset. Each text tone is about three to five seconds long and can be assigned to incoming text and picture messages, offering the users the option to assign personalized TXT Tones for anyone in their phone book. The WMG catalog will be available only to Virgin Mobile customers starting November 2 through November 14, 2006.
Each TXT Tone costs $1.50 to download from either www.virginmobileusa.com or the VirginXL menu on the phone. Cyclops is currently the only Virgin Mobile handset with TXT Tone capabilities; the feature will also be available on handsets offered in the future.
Virgin Mobile Audio Messaging [VAM] lets a user first set up a contact list, similar to an IM "buddy" list, to see who's online and available to get 'VAMed.' They then record their message and hit send. If the recipient is available, he or she can reply right back. If not, the audio message will be waiting when they get back. VAM sessions can also be saved on the handset so the user can play them back later and share with friends.
From now through June 2007, Virgin Mobile is offering 100 free audio messages per month to customers who opt-in to the service. VAM comes pre- loaded on Cyclops, and will soon be available for download on the Virgin Mobile Switch_Back as well.
More Good Looks and Great Features
Cyclops' striking exterior color scheme is complemented by a stunning internal color display, as well as an external display that shows the time and caller ID. The handset comes pre-loaded with three great games -- Lumines Mobile, New York Nights and Bikini Beach Party -- with scores more available for download. An internal antenna makes for a sleeker and more pocketable design, while features like an integrated speakerphone and voice-activated dialing notch up the convenience.
Cyclops will be available on November 2, 2006, both online at www.virginmobileusa.com and at retail locations nationwide, including Best Buy for a suggested retail price of $99.99.
About Kyocera Wireless Corp.
Kyocera Wireless Corp. is one of the leading suppliers of innovative mobile accessories and devices with CDMA technology for consumers all over the world. Kyocera Wireless adheres to the company's belief in the beauty of simplicity and works to make the wireless experience as simple and intuitive as humanly possible. The company is exclusively owned by Kyocera International Inc., which acquired the CDMA mobile phone business from QUALCOMM® Inc. in February, 2000. Located in San Diego, California, the company is ISO-14001 and ISO-9001 certified and has won many local, state, and federal awards for its innovative, environmentally-friendly manufacturing and recycling practices. The company began selling products in Latin America in 2001. For further information, please visit www.kyocera-wireless.com.
Kyocera Corporation (NYSE: KYO), the parent company and worldwide head office of Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of advanced ceramics. By combining these manufactured materials with metals and plastics through engineering, and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of telecommunication equipment, semiconductor packages, electronic components, cameras, laser printers, copying machines, mobile phones, solar energy systems, and industrial ceramics. For the year ending March 31st, 2006, Kyocera Corporation's consolidated net sales totaled approximately 10 billion US dollars (1,181,489 million yen) with a net profit of approximately 596 million US dollars (69,696 million yen).
About Virgin Mobile USA, LLC
Launched nationally in July of 2002, Virgin Mobile USA, LLC is the nation's first wireless service 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. J.D. Power and Associates has recognized Virgin Mobile as America's top prepaid wireless carrier for Customer Satisfaction Excellence and for providing "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience" under the Certified Call Center Program.(SM)
Virgin Mobile phones are available at more than 25,000 locations nationwide with Top-Up cards available at more than 119,000 locations nationwide. Virgin Mobile products can also be purchased online at www.virginmobileusa.com or by calling 888-322-1122.
About Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) became the only stand-alone music company to be publicly traded in the United States in May 2005. With its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Atlantic, Bad Bay, Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Rykodisc, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire operates through numerous international affiliates and licenses in more than 50 countries. Warner Music Group also includes Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world's leading music publishers. For more information, visit www.wmg.com.
© 2006 Kyocera Wireless Corp. All rights reserved. Kyocera is a registered trademark of the Kyocera Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.