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Kyocera to be Exclusive Handset Provider for Virgin Mobile USA
Posted: 23-Jun-2002 [Source: Kyocera press release]

[Virgin Mobile USA to offer Kyocera's "The Party Animal" and "The Super Model" along with a one-price plan when they launch services in the US on June 23.]

Virgin Mobile USA, LLC today announced that Kyocera Wireless Corp., one of the top three U.S. cell phone manufacturers, will be its exclusive cell phone provider when its wireless service launches on June 23, 2002. The strategic agreement, which is exclusive through February 2003, enables Virgin Mobile to customize Kyocera's 2119 and 2255 cell phones. Kissing boring cell phone names good-bye, the phone known as the Kyocera 2119 is now appropriately named "The Party Animal" and the lightweight Kyocera 2255 is called "The Super Model." Both phones will sport the Virgin Mobile logo and come equipped with VirginXtras, a host of tailored entertainment and music features that enable customers to do anything from set a Rescue Ring to share music files.

Kyocera also agreed to customize a variety of phone management functions such as Virgin Mobile's menu structure, messaging capabilities and balance button, which lets customers check the status of their minutes through a simple push of a button. Additional Kyocera cell phones are scheduled to undergo a Virgin Mobile personality change later in the year.

"We chose to partner with Kyocera Wireless Corp. because they understand the needs of our target market," said Daniel H. Schulman, chief executive officer of Virgin Mobile USA. "Young Americans demand individual attention. This relationship enables us to create a personality for our customer's cell phone while adding Virgin Mobile-specific features - the VirginXtras - that are tailored to fit this market's entertainment-focused and music-centric lifestyle."

"We're thrilled that Virgin Mobile chose us as its exclusive partner," said Skip Speaks, president and chief operating officer at Kyocera Wireless Corp. "We are confident that Virgin Mobile will be the consumer's champion and we believe that these customers will get the best of both worlds - a fun, innovative cell phone service that is reasonably priced."

The Party Animal's suggested retail price is $99, while the Super Model will retail for $129. The Party Animal is appropriately titled for its interchangeable faceplates, numerous games and ringtones to pass the time, and storage for up to 200 phone numbers of all those close, personal friends. The Super Model sports a slim design, of course, but this beauty also features voice-activated dialing and fashionable screen savers, as well as a slew of games, ringtones and enough phone number storage to keep in touch with every photographer and agent in town.

Customers will find these cellular lookers nestled inside one of Virgin Mobile's bright red clamshell-style Starter Packs, which also includes a charger, starter guide, a $10 Top-Up card (for airtime replenishment), extra faceplates (for the Party Animal on the go) and a few surprises.

Virgin Mobile USA will offer its service in 47 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and phones will be available through more than 3,000 retail locations including Best Buy, Circuit City, Follett Higher Education Group, Media Play, Sam Goody, Target Stores and Virgin Megastores.

Virgin Mobile is solely committed to designing its cellular products and services around the needs of young Americans. Focusing on fun and entertainment-oriented applications, Virgin Mobile's customized features like VirginXtras and text messaging keep customers entertained when the same old conversations won't do it anymore. By creating one price plan with no contracts to sign and no fine print, Virgin Mobile offers a world without hidden charges. The pricing is simple - just 25 cents per minute for the first ten minutes of each day, and then 10 cents for every minute thereafter. Using as much or as little airtime as they want, customers can simply Top-Up their Virgin Mobile account as needed. With great rates, fast setup and easy payment options, Virgin Mobile customers talk more and pay less.

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