ATandT Intros Samsung, Pantech Phones, New Services

AT&T introduced four "Quick Messaging Devices" from Samsung and Pantech, along with a suite of services said to deliver a smartphone-like experience to the more affordable feature phones.

AT&T, on March 15, introduced a new suite of consumer data services and four "Quick Messaging Devices" that can take advantage of them by offering "smarphone-like experiences" to the more affordable phones.
"Quick Messaging Devices are among our most popular and fastest-growing phones," David Christopher, AT&T chief marketing officer, said in a statement. "They offer great value - and now will offer cutting-edge services that enhance the overall experience consumers have with these phones."
The new services include the AT&T Address Book, a free way for users to sync contacts to an online address book, enabling users to access them from a handset or PC, and Next Generation Messaging, which is designed to help users with social planning and message organization. The service lets users text message to a group, reply-all to up to 10 users, view messages in a threaded format and includes "enhanced" displays.
AT&T Mobile Share, a third service, offers customers a quick way to transfer photos and videos up to 10MB from their handsets and manage that content across PC and handset screens. Content can also be stored in an online AT&T Locker and accessed from a handset or connected PC. The service is free up to 250MB. Customers can also pay $10 a month for 50 media transfers, add an additional 10GB of storage for $5 per month or pay per use, 35 cents per transfer.
"The evolution of the mobile phone experience - increasingly sophisticated hardware and software, including apps - has been advancing rapidly due to the proliferation of smartphones in recent years," said Christopher. "At AT&T, we're ensuring a similar rich, ever-evolving experience exists for the sizeable number of our customers who use Quick Messaging Devices."
AT&T's stable of these devices will grow by four in the coming weeks, with the arrival of the Samsung Strive, the Samsung Sunburst, the Pantech Link and the Pantech Pursuit.
The Strive features a 2-megapixel camera, a slideout keypad and support for email, instant messaging and social applications. Available in black/silver or purple/charcoal, it'll retail, for a limited time, for $19.99 with a two-year contract, after a $50 mail-in rebate.
The Samsung Burst, like the Strive, will arrive March 21. The Burst features a touch screen, GPS and a widget bar for one-touch access to favorite sites and applications. After a $50 mail-in rebate, and with a two-year contract, it will retail for $39.99.
The Pantech Link is a candy bar-style phone, said to be "ultra-slim and light" and feature a full keyboard, direct access to features such as email and instant messaging, and black and blue exterior accents. It will arrive in AT&T stores, at a yet-undisclosed price, "in the coming weeks."
The Pantech Pursuit, however, will debut this summer, in green or blue, and is reportedly the manufacturer's first to offer a touch interface for quick access to features and apps. Pricing has not yet been released, but the phone will feature face-recognition software and geotagging capabilities.