Yahoo is venturing into uncharted territory by launching its first branded smartphone, the parent company Verizon announced on Wednesday. The Yahoo Mobile ZTE Blade A3Y is available on the Verizon network as part of Yahoo Mobile's unlimited phone service. Yahoo is owned by Verizon.
The $50 purple phone comes with preinstalled apps including Yahoo Mail, News, Sports, Finance and Weather. It's equipped with an 8-megapixel rear camera with a dual flash and 5-megapixel front-facing camera with a flash. The phone runs on Android 10. It has a 5.45-inch 720p HD display, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage and a rear fingerprint sensor as well the ability to unlock the phone with your face.
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Yahoo Mobile launched in March with unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data for $40 a month, with taxes and fees included. Customers who buy the Yahoo phone can take advantage of other perks on the Yahoo Mobile service plan including ad-free email with Yahoo Mail Pro and an unlimited mobile hotspot that can be used on one connected device at a time.
Over time the company may expand the perks it offers based on the Yahoo services that its customers want, Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan tells CNET. Someone who is a big Yahoo Finance user, he says, may have the option to get free access to its Yahoo Finance Premium offering, while a Yahoo Sports fan would get free betting credits or promotions for the company's sportsbook, assuming they are in a state where sports gambling is legalized.
"A lot of consumers love our products, and they want to go deeper in terms of our relationship with them," he says, adding that these types of promotions could appear in the next year or two.
The new ZTE phone is available in the US now. Customers can also subscribe to Yahoo Mobile service with the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro while the iPhone 12 Pro Max and 12 Mini will be available in November. Verizon's 5G network will be included with all Yahoo Mobile plans and available on compatible devices later this year, the company said.