The first graphics-based instant messaging (IM) application with access to multiple services for mobile, Verizon Wireless Mobile IM, was announced today by Verizon Wireless. Verizon Wireless Get It NowSM customers can individually log on to MSN Messenger, or AOL IM through a rich, always on experience starting today, while Yahoo! Messenger is expected to launch in early 2004.
With the same branding and ease of use as their desktop applications, IMers will think they are on their PC with Verizon Wireless Mobile IM. Its full-color user interface lets customers:
Separately, view, refresh and manage Buddies, Contacts and Friends lists
Easily create messages using symbols and T9 predictive text
Receive instant messages, even if the handset is closed
Remain logged in, without incurring airtime charges
Hold multiple IM conversations
Change availability status
Block unwanted messages
Get on-screen help
"Verizon Wireless customers are the only people in the world who will be able to instant message from their handset regardless of whether they use AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger," said John Stratton, vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. "Our focus is always to give our customers superior products and services, and this service now joins the list of quality innovations that Verizon Wireless consistently brings to its subscribers."
Verizon Wireless Mobile IM is initially available on the LG VX6000 camera phone and customers must already have an IM account with MSN Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger. Customers must also download the Mobile IM application-initially available in the Get It Now virtual store under What's New and then under the getMESSAGING aisle-to their wireless handset. To sign up for a MSN Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger or a Yahoo! Messenger account, customers can visit their respective Web sites from their PC at www.AIM.com, http://messenger.msn.com, or http://messenger.yahoo.com.
Incoming and outgoing instant messages are charged as a TXT Message. With TXT Messaging, customers pay as they go for $0.02 for each message received and $0.10 for each message sent, or for a limited time, customers can get unlimited text messaging for $4.99 monthly access through March 31, 2004.
Except for airtime used during the download process, there is no charge for Verizon Wireless Mobile IM. Download charges for Get It Now applications vary and airtime charges apply when browsing, downloading and using certain applications. Customers need a Get It Now-enabled handset and Verizon Wireless digital service to access the Get It Now virtual store.
The LG VX6000 is offered for $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a two-year customer agreement. Verizon Wireless products and services are available in more than 1,200 Verizon Wireless Communications Stores, at participating RadioShack locations and on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. For more information on picture messaging from Verizon Wireless and to view a flash demo of the service, visit www.verizonwireless.com/getitnow.