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Sprint, Samsung Go Green with 'Corn-Based' Phone
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August 07, 2009

Sprint, Samsung Go Green with 'Corn-Based' Phone

By Amy Tierney
TMCnet Web Editor

Building off its flagship network to tap into an increasingly popular green market, the nation’s third-largest wireless service provider announced that it’s launching an eco-friendly cell phone.

Officials at Sprint Nextel Corp. and Samsung Telecommunications America introduced a new cell phone that is made from bio-plastic materials. The new Reclaim phone features a corn-based “bioplastic” case and comes in a box made of recycled material. To further build on the so-called “green theme,” Sprint (News - Alert) said it will donate $2 of every phone sold to the Nature Conservancy’s Adopt an Acre program, which supports land conservation across the United States and protects natural habitats.
As consumers demand for eco-friendly products increases, companies, in turn, are responding with innovative products. The Samsung (News - Alert) Reclaim phone, which is made from 80 percent recyclable materials, also includes an alert to let users know when the battery is full after being charged. And in another conservation effort, Sprint also swapped the typically thick paper user manual with a virtual manual that customers can access online.
The device, shown below, will also feature “One Click,” Sprint’s customizable user interface that provides quick access to application. In keeping with the theme, customers can access green applications, including a green glossary from the Discovery Channel, a guide on how to live a green life and eco-friendly tips.
The Reclaim will sell for $50 starting Aug. 16 in Sprint retail channels, including Best Buy, Radio Shack and on the company with a two-year service agreement after a $30 instant rebate and a $50 mail-in rebate. The device will also be available at Wal-Mart stores in early September, the company said.
“Samsung Reclaim is more than just an eco-friendly device, it’s also a powerful and stylish phone that’s easy-to-use,” said Omar Khan, senior vice president of strategy and product management for Samsung Mobile, in a statement. “When you combine the Reclaim’s impressive feature set with its bio-plastic hardware and eco-friendly packaging, you’re using a phone that is good for you and the environment.”
The Samsung Reclaim features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 2-megapixel camera, a Web browser; and Sprint Navigation with search functionality. The device is available in Earth Green or Ocean Blue colors.
Sprint’s latest device isn’t considered a smartphone because it can’t run additional applications. Yet it has the look and feel of such a device with a sliding keyboard, Web browser and built-in applications that connect to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, the company said.
The cell phone is a part of a larger strategy by Sprint to spice up its entry this fall in the hottest segment of the cell phone market this year: inexpensive phones with keyboards, the New York Times reported.
In other news, Sprint recently introduced new mobile broadband router products that connect multiple Wi-Fi-enabled devices at 3G or 4G mobile broadband speeds where Sprint 3G and 4G networks are available.The company added two 3G/4G mobile broadband routers to its mobile broadband offering: the Sprint Personal Hotspot PHS300S and Cradlepoint MBR-1000 broadband router for business, each feature 3G and 4G connectivity, the company said.

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Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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