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Verizon And Samsung Announce Camera Phone

From the Verizon press release:

Verizon Wireless and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung) today introduced the SCH-a610, an innovative digital camera phone featuring Verizon Wireless’ Get It Now service and Samsung’s patented rotating screen design. Available exclusively from Verizon Wireless, the SCH-a610 brings consumers a total digital solution for voice, data and advanced imaging with an emphasis on performance and design. Picture Messaging service through Get It Now from Verizon Wireless makes taking and sending photos with the SCH-a610 as easy as 1-2-3; simply shoot the photo, enter a Verizon Wireless number or e-mail address, and send.

The launch of the SCH-a610 gives consumers a glimpse of the future with unique design, premier features and award-winning Verizon Wireless service.

“We are proud of our ability to consistently provide consumers with trend-setting products and, with the introduction of the SCH-a610, we are able to strengthen Samsung’s position at the forefront of wireless imaging technology,” said Peter Skarzynski, senior vice president of Samsung’s wireless terminals division. “With its patented rotating design and industry-leading TFT color screen, the user-friendly SCH-a610 helps raise the standard for embedded camera phones while giving consumers a stylish device to complement their lifestyles.”

A standout in the camera phone genre, the SCH-a610 features Samsung’s unique rotating flip design. The phone’s upper screen swivels 180 degrees at the phone’s midsection, giving consumers the option of turning the main screen to face outward, serving as an external color display. With the screen in this position, users can instantly identify callers via picture caller ID or easily take VGA-quality pictures in landscape mode.

In addition to its innovative design, the SCH-a610 also boasts a built-in flash, digital zoom and a vivid 65,000-color thin film transistor (TFT) screen to complement the phone’s camera capabilities. Photos taken with the SCH-a610 can be customized with fun graphics that frame pictures, and consumers can use the multi-shot setting for continuous capture or take advantage of the self-timer and get into the action. Verizon Wireless customers have free access to a dedicated storage space on the Web at Pix Place (http://www.vzwpix.com/) to compose, share, manage and save virtual photo albums and picture messages.

The SCH-a610 is Get It Now-enabled, offering customers the ability to download new games, ring tones and productivity tools from the Get It Now virtual store. Applications can be downloaded over the air, without hooking up to a PC or going into a Verizon Wireless Communications Store.

Customers can pay as they go for each picture message, $0.25 for each message sent or received, plus airtime, or select from bundled picture messaging Pix Packs:

  • $2.99 per month for 20 PIX messages, and only $0.25 for each additional message sent or received, plus airtime
  • $4.99 per month for 80 PIX messages thru December 31, 2005, and only $0.25 for each additional message sent or received, plus airtime
  • $7.99 per month for 80 PIX messages and 500 TXT messages through December 31, 2005

If the picture message is sent to a phone that can only receive a TXT message, the cost to receive the message is just $0.02, as the recipient receives a short text message directing them to the Pix Place Web site where they can register to view new picture messages. And whether a message is sent from phone to phone, phone to e-mail or phone to the Internet, picture messages sent to up to 10 addresses are billed as only one message sent.

Verizon Wireless customers can access Pix Place at no additional charge at http://www.vzwpix.com/,  where they can store pictures in their own dedicated storage space and create their own photo albums. The SCH-a610 is available beginning February 10, 2004 and is offered for $179.99 after a $50 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 and Circuit City locations and on the Web at http://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.