Orange, one of the world’s largest communications companies, today announced the launch of a new consumer-orientated SPV – codenamed the SPVx.
The announcement follows last November’s launch of the SPV – the world’s first mobile phone to use the Microsoft® Smartphone platform –and comes on the back of Orange research and customer feedback.
The research indicates that the average SPV user is either a mobile business worker or early adopter, with a high use of email and synchronisation with their PC. With the addition of the SPVx, Orange is widening the SPV portfolio to engage the consumer customer, bringing them even easier access to games, music and entertainment services.
Orange will offer special SPV and SPVx retail packs which will include the phone and specific accessories or accessory discounts for different market segments.
The SPV – focussed at business customers, application developers and early adopters – will be offered with accessories including a new plug-in soft keyboard (making texting and email even easier), a fully-integrated car kit and a bluetooth headset which plugs in to the phone’s serial port.
The SPVx includes features such as a joystick for gaming and menu navigation, and will be offered with accessories such as entertainment memory cards (complete with games, songs and video clips) and a camera link cable that gives customers even more flexibility when Photo Messaging. Orange is also in talks with a number of companies with regards to launching a detachable cradle that transforms the phone into a gaming console. The accessories will also be available separately for purchase, allowing customers to independently mix and match their package depending on which phone or add-ons they require.
Orange intends to launch the SPVx in April. The phone is intended to be offered in the UK, France, Denmark and Switzerland to sit alongside the original SPV. The SPVx has the same power and capabilities as the SPV, but the applications and look and feel have been designed specifically with consumer customers in mind. The SPVx – which has yet to be officially named by Orange – looks similar to the original SPV, but has a number of different features including:
– new larger keyboard layout and “joystick” for menu navigation and gaming
– new screen allowing even easier colour internet viewing
– consumer-focussed menu layout and applications
Richard Brennan, Executive Vice-President of OrangeWorld and Brand at Orange, said: “Initial data has shown us that many of our SPV users are either small business or corporate customers. That’s why we decided to develop a new phone aimed at the mass market. We are modifying the menu structures on the SPVx so that the more consumer-focussed services, such as the internet, games, music applications, messaging services and Windows Media Player are the first programmes customers can access. We are also modifying the home screen to give a more consumer-orientated feel, and with the launch of cool accessories like the gaming cradle and entertainment memory cards, give customers even more opportunities to use its music, video and game functions. Orange customers now have a clear choice with regards to the SPV they wish to use – be it for business or pleasure.”
Today also sees the announcement of the first official Orange group release of new software for the SPV. The software update improves functionality and battery life and also gives customers two new applications – sound manager and picture manager. The update will be available for all SPV customers to download from the Orange.com website on Monday 24th February.
Brennan continued: “The launch of the first SPV has been a great success. We’ve sold over 40,000 units and had some great feedback. We’ve also listened to our customers – what they liked about the phone and how they would like us to improve the experience. That information has helped us focus our work on the SPVx and also formed the basis of the software update for the original SPV.”
He added: “While we focus on the launch of the new phone we will not be neglecting the original SPV. In fact, over the next few weeks we will be announcing new applications, further software updates and business-focussed accessories, including a soft keyboard, a bluetooth solution and a fully integrated car kit.
“We now have two phones in the SPV family, with more to follow. In the future, we are looking to extend the experience even further, to include clam-shell handsets, built-in cameras, bluetooth capabilities and so much more.”
The SPVx is due to be available in stores across the UK, France, Denmark and Switzerland in the next six to eight weeks. The price point has yet to be announced.