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October 15, 2008

Harnessing the Popularity of Texting, AT&T Intros Quick-Messaging Mobile Phones

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributing Editor

AT&T (News - Alert) Inc. reportedly has launched a new line of quick-messaging mobile phones.

The four new phones include the Pantech Matrix, which is pictured below and available today, the Samsung (News - Alert) Propel and Pantech Slate, which will hit stores later this month, and the AT&T Quickfire, which will come to retail shelves in November.
The new phones allow customers to make calls and send text-messages quickly and discreetly, AT&T officials say.
According to Carlton Hill, vice president of devices and product development for AT&T’s wireless operations, the phones with text-messaging addicts as well as users who want seeking easier use of other functions on their phone, such as mobile e-mail or Internet searching.
“For a lot of reasons, more buttons are better,” Hill said.
So-called “QWERTY” keypads on the four phones are designed to help users send text, picture, video and instant messages with ease.
All quick messaging phones are compatible with AT&T’s messaging bundles that offer 200, 1,500 and unlimited messaging for $5, $15 and $20 per month, respectively. AT&T FamilyTalk plan customers can get unlimited messaging for all lines for $30. 

The phones, which are designed to make messaging faster and easier than ever before, have been introduced to meet the increasing popularity of texting as a means of communication. A recent Nielsen study suggests that some U.S. consumers now use their cell phones for text-messaging more than they do for talking.
In the company’s second quarter earnings reported, AT&T said that text-messaging volumes had tripled compared with the same period last year.
According to Mark Collins (News - Alert), vice president of consumer products for AT&T’s wireless unit, as texting continues to win over more people, unlimited messaging bundles become more valuable for customers.
“These phones are perfect for our customers who want a full keypad to help their fingers fly faster when they send messages but don’t need corporate e-mail access or other smartphone features,” Collins said.
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Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anil's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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