Just last week we brought you our interview with Marni Walden, Verizon’s CMO, who discussed the carrier’s iPhone, Android phones and BlackBerry devices, and that got us thinking: what was Verizon’s first smartphone? We reached out and confirmed for this week’s Throwback Thursday that it was indeed the Palm OS-powered Kyocera 6035, which made its debut on March 2nd, 2001. The phone, which was hailed by Verizon as combining the functionality of a PDA with the ubiquitous connectivity of a wireless phone, offered a flip-form factor with a numberpad that could be flipped down to reveal more of the 6035’s touchscreen display. If you thought the $299 you just dropped on the DROID Charge 4G was expensive, get this: the Kyocera 6035 was $499 with a 1-year contract — and it didn’t even have a camera! To make this Throwback Thursday a bit sweeter, we’ve actually included the original full press release after the break.
BGR’s Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.
Verizon Wireless Jumpstarts Smartphone Market
BEDMINSTER, N.J. —
Taking the lead among wireless carriers, Verizon Wireless announced today that it is launching the nation’s first wireless service for the new generation of smart phones-a Web ready, Palm-powered wireless handset that combines the best of a personal digital assistant (PDA) with the ubiquitous connectivity of a wireless phone.
Verizon Wireless is giving its customers the chance to be first-on-the-block with the smartest PDA/wireless phone on the market. The Kyocera 6035 will be available to consumers in most Verizon Wireless Communication Stores on Monday, March 5, 2001. The dual-branded handset features wireless Web access, a large screen and supports the installation of hundreds of applications compatible with Palm OS® software. The tri-mode handset supports CDMA digital PCS, CDMA digital cellular and analog. Combined with the most extensive network across the United States, Verizon Wireless customers can be connected virtually anywhere. The Smartphone is expected to retail at $499 with a one-year service contract.
The Kyocera 6035 has the ability to support thousands of Palm-certified software applications, giving users the ability to:
· Utilize Palm’s powerful electronic organizer
· Send and retrieve email
· Manage secure, online transactions
· Play games
· Access several mapping programs
· Read e-books
· Edit and read spreadsheet and word processing programs, including Excel and Word
· View pictures with an electronic camera
“We are offering our customers the ultimate in convenience and functionality-a powerful PDA and a wireless phone in a single package that is small enough to fit in a suit or coat pocket,” said Gary Schulman, President of the Wireless Data & Internet Division of Verizon Wireless. “Our customers look to Verizon Wireless for innovation and leadership and we are excited to be the first carrier to bring them an entirely new way to stay connected.”
With Verizon Wireless’ Mobile Web and now as the first carrier to offer wireless service for smart phones, Verizon Wireless customers have two options for how they access Web-based information while they are on-the-go