AT&T Inc. says its fastest-growing wireless device category these days is quick-messaging devices, not smartphones. And it’s adding more advanced, cloud-based features to the midrange suite, blurring the lines between handset types.
AT&T defines the QMD category for the industry as a portfolio of wireless handsets that have a messaging-friendly full QWERTY keyboard and other advanced features, but at an affordable midrange price. A spokesperson noted that AT&T anticipated the rise of messaging and consumer demand for lower-cost QWERTY devices, so it positioned itself with eight devices in the portfolio.
On Monday AT&T announced that four soon-to-be-released QMDs, the Samsung Strive and Sunburst, and the Pantech Link and Pursuit, will be among the first to offer a new suite of services from AT&T.
These wireless apps/services will premiere first on the Samsung Strive and include:
- AT&T Address Book – The free AT&T Address Book auto-syncs contacts to an online address book so they’re accessible from computer as well as handset. It also lets users import outside Web-based address books.
- Group Messaging – Designed by AT&T, this brings “reply all” functionality for up to 10 contacts, a threaded conversation format previously available primarily to smartphone customers, a consolidated inbox and multimedia display enhancements to the text messaging experience. Standard messaging rates apply.
- AT&T Mobile Share – Helps customers quickly transfer photos and videos captured on their mobile phone to other destination, so their content isn’t “stuck” on the handset, and then manage that content across the mobile and PC screens. Customers can share videos and pictures in full resolution up to 10 MB with their home computer, social networking sites, other people and a personal Internet-based AT&T storage locker. AT&T Mobile Share is available for $10 per month for 50 media transfers; customers can also pay per use, at $.35 per transfer. The service includes online storage of 250MB at no charge. Customers can purchase an additional 10GB of storage for $5 per month. Standard data charges apply for browsing the online media locker from the mobile handset.