Saturday, March 31, 2007

New Virgin Mobile Phone and Service Plan - Not For Everyone

I got the scoop from a person who will as of yet remain anonymous about a new phone and service which Virgin Mobile will release in the ery near future...

As to the service, minutes will now be charged in half-minute intervals, at 13 cents for 0:01-0:30 and 9 cents for 0:31 to 1:00, increasing margins for Virgin Mobile by nearly 20% yet providing the average customer with a false sens of less expensive calling. The monthly plans will have similar changes, with all plans going to the half-minute schedule, but with only 60% more half-minutes than minutes. Night and weekend calls will be billed per 40 seconds rather than half minutes. Also in this fee structure is a "nickel and dime" plan which allows Virgin to count all phone usage and bill 5 cents a minute for it. So don't hold your new Virgin phone too much...

As to the phone, it is a joint venture between Kyocera and UTStarCom, or rather Kyocera and Audiovox...Audiovox disowned the phone some time ago and changed its name for that very purpose. Anyway, the phone, which Kyocera now calls the KX1337d, will be called the CRAPY on Virgin's own network. It has already been recalled on several carriers after only two weeks' stint due to phone failure rates. The phone will have a price point of $29.99, including $2.50 worth of credit. The new rate plans will be required on this phone.

This phone, supposed to be a flip, has the distinction of being the first phone where the Virgin Mobile logo is prominently placed on every possible surface of the phone, including the screen, which has a Virgin Mobile-shaped mat around it. The screen is 16 color, but more colors are not needed as the user interface, which takes several seconds to respond to commands from the rather spongy keypad, is all shades of yellow and red. Polyphonic ringtones are suppored, but there are only two ringers preloaded on the phone, plus one messaging alert. All other 'tones will have to be downloaded from Virgin's new XS (Xtra Small) service, designed to fit the phone's small, nonstandard, 109x109 pixel display, which as I said is matted so give up if you want wallpapers.

The phone has a camera, which is rated at 1.3 megapixels but actually uses a QCIF (176x144) sensor and uses the antiquated nearest-neighbor method to interpolate to 1.3 megapixels. Pictures tend to be undersaturated to the point of greyness, yet are blown out into shades of yellow and red on the phone's display. Oh, and the caller ID display, which was going to be on this phone, was removed per Virgin's instructions and replaces with the Virgin logo. Speakerphone is available, but battery life will suffer...estimated standby time is 18 hours with a new battery or 20 minutes talk time. With a software upgrade the standby time should be increased to 20 hours.

Sorry, it's late. Gotta go to bed. Happy April 1st everyone! I think I'll go for the Marbl, before it's taken offline in favor of the CRAPY, which is rumored to be financially a profit for Virgin Mobile, at a wholesale of $17.92 per unit...

4 comments:

Jacques P. Miller said...

Nice trick, Ian, real nice...

Anonymous said...

Good job,...almost had me ready to
Virgin Mobile...almost got me...haha ... John

Anonymous said...

I hope this whole article is a joke. I was going to consider buying a VM phone, but now I will reconsider!

Anonymous said...

This article didn't fool me, because I am a Super Genius with a tested IQ of 166...Woooooooooo!