Virgin Mobile promises touch-screen phones

Though he offered no details, the MVNO carrier's CEO says it will introduce touch-screen handsets as part of a move to "smarter" phones.

Virgin Mobile's CEO said Tuesday that the Mobile Virtual Network Operator plans to introduce touch-screen handsets. Speaking at the Dow Jones Wireless Innovations conference, CEO Dan Schulman didn't give any specifics, but he said that the handsets would be part of a move to "smarter" phones.

As an MVNO carrier with a core prepaid business, Virgin Mobile focuses on low-end and basic models for making calls and sending messages. Over the past 18 months, and particularly after its acquisition of Helio, the operator has offered more multimedia handsets and messaging-centric devices with full keyboards. Yet, like many of its prepaid and MVNO competitions, the carrier has not picked up any smartphone or touch-screen models.

According to PC World, Schulman said the touch-screen phones would be targeted to low and middle-income youth on prepaid plans. MetroPCS, another prepaid carrier, introduced a version of the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 last week.

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