updated 02:15 pm EDT, Fri September 12, 2008
Ocean 2 on Virgin in 2009
Virgin Mobile plans to carry Helio's planned Ocean sequel but doesn't have plans for it until next year, says company spokesperson Jayne Wallace. Although confirming that the device has been built and that Virgin will take over releasing the device to market, Wallace says the new Ocean isn't yet ready and that it should be launched in early 2009, when it will perform as "best" as possible. Little is known about the Pantech-made device other than that it should continue to use a dual slider and that it will have a cosmetic makeover.
The carrier official also explains that Virgin may use WiMAX when it becomes available. As the company already uses Sprint's network for calls and 3G data, a shift to 4G by borrowing Sprint's Xohm service is considered a realistic "opportunity" and would depend primarily on having access to handsets capable of the faster Internet connection.
Virgin adds that its takeover of Helio should see a significant expansion of the cellphones it will carry next year, including a mix of phones from Kyocera, LG and Samsung that will skew towards the high end that the company has historically neglected in favor of budget phones. Smartphones are not considered part of these plans.