AT&T Blitzes Market With Six Full-Keyboard Mobile Phones


AT&T late Sunday launched a full-court press against its rivals by unveiling two new smartphones and four quick-messaging devices costing between $99.99 and $249.00.

The company released the news just ahead of the CTIA Wireless trade show that begins Monday in Las Vegas and includes RIM, Qualcomm, T-Mobile, Sprint, HTC and Skype.

The two new smartphones are the Nokia E71x and the Samsung Propel Pro.

AT&T boasts that the Nokia E71x is the thinnest smartphone on the market at 10mm. The phone is based on S60 on Symbian OS and has Wi-Fi and several Symbian-based applications in addition to other features such as the AT&T Navigator. The phone will be released in the next few weeks and will retail for $149.99, but with a mail-in rebate costs $99.99 (customers will receive a $50 AT&T promotion card).

The Samsung Propel Pro is a full-QWERTY silver and chrome compact slider smartphone. The phone is based on the Samsung Propel and has Wi-Fi capabilities. Equipped with Windows Mobile 6.1, users can run full enterprise apps on the same platform used to text and send photos. The phone will be available April 14 for $199.99, or $149.99 with a mail-in rebate, good for a $50 AT&T promotion card.

Under AT&T's lineup of quick-messaging phones, the new Samsung Impression has the country's first commercially available AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) screen delivering what AT&T said is one of the brightest and clearest displays in the U.S. The Impression's keyboard is underneath the quick-messaging phone, with the touch screen on the outside and buttons on the inside. In addition, the Impression has a 3.0 megapixel camcorder-capable camera and a 3.2-inch screen. The device will be available April 7 and costs $249.99; with a mail-in rebate, the phone costs $199.00.

Aimed at teens, the LG Xenon is another quick-messaging phone with a full keypad for text messaging and a large touch screen display with customizable and intuitive user interface. The 3G-powered Xenon lets users take 2.0 megapixel photos and also comes with a suite of AT&T entertainment services such as AT&T Navigator, Napster Mobile, eMusic Mobile and more. The phone is $149.99 or $99.99 after a mail-in rebate; a two-year service agreement also is required. AT&T has not released a launch date.

The LG Neon is billed as AT&T's low-cost touch-screen device also aimed at teens and "text-happy adults." The green and white quick-messaging phone has a full keyboard, 2.0 megapixel camera and also offers access to instant messaging, Mobile Email, AT&T Music and the Internet. It will be rolled out in a few weeks and will cost $99.99.

Finally, the Samsung Magnet is another slim device that will be squarely marketed to kids looking for a cheap quick-messaging phone. The Magnet has a WAP browser and integrated camera. The phone will be available in the next few weeks, and although AT&T did not release the cost, it is expected to retail for about $50.00.

All six devices can be paired with messaging bundles with 200, 1,500 and unlimited messages that cost $5.00, $15.00 and $20.00 respectively. In addition, unlimited messaging is available for AT&T Family Talk plan customers for all lines for $30. Data plans vary per device.