Sprint Launches Kyocera Kona – Industry First Feature Phone with Verbal
Translation of Internet Browsing
Available for free, Kona makes it easy for the visually impaired to stay
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- September 6, 2013
For the visually impaired, using a mobile device hasn’t always been easy.
Kyocera Kona from Sprint (NYSE: S) helps to solve that problem by providing an
easy-to-use compact flip phone that is the first feature phone in the industry
to offer verbal translation enabling Internet browsing.
Kyocera Kona is available in direct-ship sales channels Web (www.sprint.com)
and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) for free after a $50 mail-in rebate via reward
card^1 and with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade. It will
be available in all remaining Sprint retail channels beginning Friday, Sept.
13. Kyocera Kona is the latest enhancement to Sprint’s product portfolio
designed to ensure accessibility for all.
According to the National Federation of the Blind, more than 6.5 million
people reported a visual disability in 2011.^2 Kona is also the first feature
phone to offer a user interface with verbal descriptions of navigation, with
which the device describes what is highlighted on the screen and works with
menus, messaging, contacts, missed calls, notifications, and many other
Other accessibility features include variable speed text to speech service,
which reads texts to users, high-contrast user interface options to
accommodate a variety of vision ranges, dedicated In Case of Emergency (ICE)
and 911 shortcuts, and a tactile keyboard with well-defined buttons.
"Sprint has always been dedicated to ensuring accessibility – whether it’s our
award-winning accessibility Sprint ID application bundles or a device like
Kona providing first-of-its-kind features for the visually impaired,” said
David Owens, vice president-Product Development, Sprint. “We are providing
this product free of charge because we want anyone who has a unique need to be
able to take advantage of this great new offering.”
The new Unlimited, My Way^SM rate plans for basic phones feature unlimited
talk, text and data while on the Sprint network for only $60 per month
(excluding taxes and fees). Sprint Kyocera Kona customers can benefit from The
Sprint Unlimited Guarantee that promises customers unlimited talk (calls to
any wireline or mobile phone), text and data while on the Sprint network, for
the life of the line of service. This guarantee is available to new and
existing customers who sign up for Sprint’s new Unlimited, My Way^SM plan and
will apply to customers as long as they remain on the plan, meet the terms and
conditions of the plan and pay their bill in full and on-time.
“Almost half of American cell-phone users have not made the jump to
smartphones, so there is clearly a significant demand and need in the market
for easy-to-use feature phones that don't require additional data plans,” said
Eric Anderson, senior vice president and general manager of global sales and
marketing at Kyocera Communications. “We addressed that need and went one step
further in adding incredible accessibility features that make Kona a reliable
communication tool for the visually impaired.”
Kyocera Kona is a CDMA2000^® 1X-Advanced flip phone featuring a 2.4-inch QVGA
TFT LCD internal color display as well as a 1.44-inch TFT LCD color external
display. Capturing quick snapshots is easy with Kona's 2-megapixel camera with
2x zoom and dedicated function key. Calls can be safely taken over Bluetooth^®
wireless technology (2.1 with Enhanced Data Rate), via the 3.5mm headset jack
or through the speakerphone with dedicated function key. With a strong 870mAh
Li-Ion battery, Kona is a compact 3.94 x 2.05 x 0.68 inches and weighs only
As part of its all-new network buildout, Sprint is bringing an enhanced 3G
experience with better wireless signal strength, in-building coverage, and
fewer dropped/blocked calls. These 3G improvements are already available to
customers in several cities across the country, such as Baltimore, Boston, Los
Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. Sprint 3G customers in these areas,
including the company’s prepaid customers on Assurance Wireless, Virgin Mobile
and Boost Mobile, can expect to see better coverage and improved network
reliability and voice quality once the improvements come to their areas. For
more information about the Sprint network, visit www.sprint.com/network.
Sprint’s corporate responsibility program, Sprint Good Works^SM, is guided by
the principle that doing the right thing is good business. More than a
statement, it’s also a belief: Good does indeed work^SM. That’s why Sprint is
committed to anticipating the needs of customers and making award-winning
services accessible to all. By empowering seniors and people with disabilities
through accessible technology, Sprint is demonstrating how good technology
works as a positive force in society.
Sprint offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications
services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and
government users. Sprint served more than 53 million customers at the end of
the second quarter of 2013 and is widely recognized for developing,
engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first
wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering
industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin
Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and
international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet
backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most
improved company in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, during
the last five years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in both its 2011 and 2012
Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the
highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint
at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
About Kyocera Communications Inc.
Kyocera Communications Inc. is the headquarters for Kyocera wireless devices
in the Americas. Designed with durability, dependability and long-term value
as priorities, Kyocera mobile phones help people feel comfortable with new
technology and use it to connect, perform and outsmart life’s challenges. At
the heart of Kyocera’s products is a belief that one size doesn’t fit all and
that people should do more with phones instead of being confused by them or
having to alter their lifestyles to accommodate them. For more information,
follow the company at www.facebook.com/kyoceramobilephones or
Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO) (TOKYO:6971) (http://global.kyocera.com/), the
parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a
producer of fine (or “advanced”) ceramics. Kyocera specializes in combining
these engineered materials with metals and integrating them with other
technologies, such as solar power generating systems, printers, copiers,
mobile phones, electronic components, semiconductor packages, cutting tools
and industrial components. During the year ended March 31, 2013, the company’s
net sales totaled 1.28 trillion yen (approx. USD13.6 billion).
^1Pricing excludes taxes and service charges. The American Express Prepaid
Reward Card (“Card”) provided in connection with this Rebate offer is a
prepaid Card that is usable at U.S. merchants that accept American Express
Card. Some limitations apply. The Card is not redeemable for cash (except
where required by law) and does not provide ATM access. Use of Card
constitutes acknowledgement that it is given as a reward and no consideration,
value, or money has been paid by the holder to American Express in exchange
for this Card. USE OF CARD IS SUBJECT TO THE CARDHOLDER AGREEMENT. SUBJECT TO
APPLICABLE LAW, A $3.00 MONTHLY FEE WILL BE ASSESED AGAINST CARD BALANCE,
STARTING SIX MONTHS AFTER CARD ISSUANCE, UNLESS FUNDS ARE EARLIER DEPLETED.
For BALANCE, customer service and Cardholder Agreement, visit
americanexpress.com/sprint or call 866-608-3756. Card issued by American
Express Prepaid Card Management Corporation.
© 2013 Kyocera. All rights reserved. Kyocera is a registered trademark of
Kyocera Corporation. CDMA2000 is a registered trademark of the
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA-USA). Bluetooth mark is owned by
the Bluetooth SIG Inc. and any use of such mark is under license. All other
marks are properties of their respective owners.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
Natalie Papaj, 703-592-8412
Kyocera Communications Inc.
John Chier, 858-882-3543
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