Blurring lines between smartphones and feature phones: the Muve Music Phone case from Cricket Communications

Related information: Continued Toshiba-SanDisk dominance for flash memories [Feb 26, 2012]

slotMusic and slotRadio has been, like you said, some of that we did in the content area, we don’t continue these products anymore. … However, we did take these security capabilities of using DRM for securing the content into some more interesting applications that we’ve had. One of them, we presented last year. It’s the Muve Music card that Cricket is offering to their subscribers. So it’s based on the very same technology. And actually, it takes the content, that they bring into [indiscernible] this package and they sell to their customers a package of data, voice and content combined. So the technology is coming from us, the content is bought by them.

CTIA December Wireless at Work: Music on the Go [Nov 22, 2011]

Muve Music is the first music service designed specifically for the mobile phone. For your regular monthly phone bill which includes unlimited talk, text and web you get unlimited music dowloads with Muve Music. Music is available from all four of the major record labels [Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Music] in the world and accounts for millions of songs.

Our customers download about four hundred songs a month. They listen to their device with Muve Music for about two-and-a-half to three hours a day. Included in this are unlimited ringtones and ring back tones which are very very popular with our customers. We’ve got about two hundred thousand customers rigth now of Muve Music and again it’s part of your regular monthly rate plan from Cricket.

imageimageWith Nokia Lumia introductions we got free Nokia Music and MixRadio as the key feature. Now two ZTE phones are available as well at rock bottom prices of $50 and $70 with an unlimited Muve Music service plan at $45 and $55 per month from Cricket Communications (U.S.).
See: Introducing the newest Muve Music phone – The ZTE Chorus [Dec 1, 2011].

 

Feature phone:

Cricket ZTE [D930] Chorus™
M.S.R.P. $119.99
[$49.99 on Amaz.]
(on Cricket site)
$49.99 for a limited time (introductory promotion)
[$99.99 after that!]

Android smartphone:

Cricket ZTE [X500] Score™ M.S.R.P. $129.99
[$69.99 on Amazon]
(on Cricket site)

see also:
http://www.mycricket.com/
Muve Music service:
(description of the service is below and also after the press releases, under the “Cricket’s Muve Music introduction” heading)
Yes, $55 per month ($45 per month in Best Buy [?and Amazon?])
• Dedicated Muve Music key
• Only Muve Music device with a premium audio experience (SRS WOW-HD)
Yes, $65 per month
($55 per month in Best Buy and Amazon)
• Access to Millions of songs to download to your phone
• My DJ creates a personalized playlist
• Unlimited ringtones and ringback tones
Other software features: • Mobile Web, MyBackup
• MyAccount, Cricket Storefront and 3 customizable idlescreens
• Access to over 200,000 apps on the Android market
• Google Maps and Navigator
• Email, MyAccount, Cricket411, and much more
Processor: 600MHz dual ARM processor [MSM7627] Qualcomm MSM7627 chip [ARMv6: ARM1136EJ-S] 600MHz Dual ARM Processor [the second core is a 400MHz ARM926EJ-S processor dedicated to modem duties, there is an additional DSP and an Adreno 200 GPU as well]
Technology: 1xRTT / EVDOrA [3G] 1xRTT / EVDO rA [3G] Cell/PCS/AWS
Wi-Fi: No 802.11 b/g
Bluetooth: 2.1 + EDR 2.1 + EDR
Memory: 512 x 256 MByte (SD up to 32 GB) 512 x 512 MByte (Supports up to 32 GB microSD card)
Touch screen user interface: 3.2” WQVGA [420×240] TFT 262K colors Resistive Touch 3.5” QVGA [HVGA 480×320] TFT 262K colors Capacitive Touch
OS Platform: Linux based OS optimized for easy personalization [Android 2.3 deprived of Android accounts and applications assistance] Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread OS
Camera: 2 MP Camera Fixed Focus 3.2 MP Camera Fixed Focus
Camcorder: MPEG4 (15fps QVGA [320×240]) MPEG4 (15fps QVGA [320×240])
Speaker Type: Stereo – audio codec – SRS Surround Sound certificate Stereo – audio codec – SRS Surround Sound certificate
Music: Standard 3.5mm headset Standard 3.5mm headset
TTY / TTD : Yes Yes
HAC: Compliance (M4/T3) Compliance (M4/T3)
Connectivity: Standard micro USB charging Standard micro USB charging
Accelerometer: Yes (full video view) Yes
GPS: GPS, aGPS, sGPS GPS, aGPS, sGPS
Battery: Li-ion 1000 mAh (Talk: 250 mins. Standby: 200 Hrs) Li-ion 1200 mAh (Talk: 240 mins. Standby: 250 Hrs)
In-Box Contents: •ZTE Chorus™ Phone
•Li-ion Battery
•4 GB SanDisk® Muve capable Memory Card (3GB for MUVE Music)
•Travel Charger/USB cable
•Quick Start Guide
•Enhancement Guide
•Quick Reference Manual
•Muve Music User Guide
•ZTE Score™ Phone
•Li-ion Battery
•4 GB SanDisk® Muve capable Memory Card (3GB for MUVE Music)
•Travel Adapter/Data Cable
•Quick Start Guide
•Enhancement Guide
•Quick Reference Manual
•Muve Music User Guide

Muve Music from Cricket Commercial on Cricket Samsung Suede feature phone  [Leap Wireless – Cricket Commercial, Sept 19, 2011]

Cricket Introduces First Wireless Rate Plan with Unlimited Music Included [Dec 20, 2010]

The Muve Music service also includes a new technology solution from SanDisk that’s a key part of the service. Muve Music content is downloaded DRM-free over the air to the phone. It is stored and protected on a special flash memory card. This alleviates the need for any cumbersome digital rights management (DRM) scheme and results in a greatly improved user experience, better handset performance and longer battery life.

Muve Music demo on Cricket Samsung Vitality Android smartphone [Oct 19, 2011]

More introductory information is after the press releases, under the “Cricket’s Muve Music introduction” heading.

The complete value proposition site [from Dec 20, 2010 on, excerpted on Dec 2, 2011 corresponding to Muve Music v2.4]:
Mobile Music | Unlimited Music Downloads | Muve Music | Cricket Wireless

Muve Music Features

Get Music

This is where all the music is. We’re talking millions of songs, ringtones and ringback tones ready for you to seatrch, explore and download. [For the first time anywhere in the U.S. – see the below service announcement.]

My Music

Once you’ve downloaded the music you love, My Music automatically organizes it for you. Listen to songs, create playlists, cut ringtones amd manage your music experience.

Get Social

Get Social is all about connecting with friends and other Muve Music users. You can check out their music collections, download their songs and share what’s on your phone too.

My DJ

This is where you’ll discover new music. My DJ creates playlists for you and sends them to your phone. It does all the work, while you just enjoy the new music.

Shazam™

Hear it. Like it. Identify it. Download it.
Ever hear a song somewhere that you didn’t know but liked?
Press Shazam™ to identify the title and artist instantly. Then download the song with the touch of a button.

Android™-powered

Move Music + Android™ power
– The best selling smartphone OS in the world*
– Access over 250K apps in the Android Marketplace
– Navigate with built-in GPS & Google Maps
– Stay social with Facebook & Twitter
– Only Cricket puts Android and Muve Music together

* Canalys, Google’s Android becomes the world’s leading smart phone platform, (31 January 2011)

Muve Music Phones

image

Browse Artists

image

Select from the menu above to browse through the artists available on Muve Music.

image

Top 5 Ways Muve Music Releases You

Wouldn’t It Be Amazing If…

…#1 I didn’t have to carry a phone and an .mp3 player

With Muve Music from Cricket, your phone and your music are one. So you can download millions of songs directly to your phone from anywhere. No computers. No cords. No syncing.

…#2 I didn’t have to pay for phone service and song purchases

With Muve Music, you get unlimited song downloads, plus nationwide talk, text & web. No paying extra fees for music and no contracts required.

…#3 I could create my own ringtones and ringback tones

You got it. Muve Music gives you the ability to create your very own ringtone and ringback tones. Just download, create and assign to your contacts. It’s that easy.

…#4 I had new music sent automatically to my phone each and every day

Awake every morning to new music from Muve Music. My DJ creates playlists for you and sends them right to your phone. It does all the work, while you just enjoy the new music.

…#5 I could share my love of music with all my friends

Muve Music can be freely shared with other Muve Music users. See what they’re listening to, download their favorite songs, view their ringtones and more. Talk about being social!

Below there is more information, mainly from press releases:

Leap Reports Third Quarter Results [Oct 31, 2011]


– ARPU Increases by More Than $4.00 Year-Over-Year, Primarily Due to Smartphone Customers

… said Doug Hutcheson, Leap’s president and chief executive officer.  “… ARPU increased to $41.25, reflecting the adoption of smartphones and Muve Music™ devices and related service plans by a third of our voice customers. We continue to pursue initiatives to build on this customer growth, including efforts to increase our distribution presence, enhance our already-compelling device line-up, improve customer awareness through a new nationwide marketing campaign and expand awareness and distribution of our successful Muve Music offering.  We are pleased with our progress and believe we have attractive service plans and devices as we move into our stronger selling seasons.”

  • Nearly 50 percent of the Company’s new handset sales in the third quarter of 2011 were for smartphones and Muve Music devices and approximately 10 percent of the Company’s customer base upgraded their handsets during the quarter, typically to better devices coupled with higher-ARPU service plans.

Capital Expenditures

  • Capital expenditures during the third quarter of 2011 were $103.1 million.
  • Total capital expenditures for 2011 are expected to be between $425 million and $475 million, primarily to support the ongoing maintenance, development and growth of the Company’s network in its operating markets and the initial deployment of LTE network technology.
  • Annual capital expenditures for 2012 to support the ongoing maintenance and development of the Company’s network and other business assets are expected to be in the mid-teens as a percentage of annual service revenues.
  • The Company currently plans to deploy LTE across approximately two-thirds of its current network footprint over the next two to three years, with a commercial trial market scheduled to be launched in late 2011. The Company plans to cover approximately 25 million POPs with LTE network technology in 2012. Aggregate capital expenditures for LTE deployment are expected to be less than $10 per covered POP, excluding capitalized interest. Approximately half of the estimated capital expenditures for LTE deployment are included in the amounts estimated to be necessary to support the ongoing maintenance and development of the Company’s network. The actual amount the Company spends to deploy LTE will depend upon multiple factors, including the scope and pace of the Company’s deployment activities.

Other Quarterly Highlights

  • Announced a major retail expansion that will result in Cricket products and services being available to consumers nationwide. By mid-November, Cricket’s innovative products and services are expected to be launched in key major retailers including Best Buy, select Walmart locations, Dollar General and through one of America’s most popular interactive multi-channel retailers, the Home Shopping Network.
  • Introduced Muve Music, new, nationwide all-inclusive service plans and new Android handsets, including the introduction of the Samsung Vitality and the ZTE Score into more than 1,300 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile specialty stores nationwide. These new products enable Cricket to bring its industry-leading value proposition to an expanded nationwide audience.
  • Surpassed the 200,000 customer threshold for Muve Music in early September, a doubling of its subscriber base in less than 60 days. In addition, the Company recently gained its 250,000th Muve Music customer.
  • Announced Muve First™ and Muve Headliner™, two new monthly music programs exclusively for Muve Music customers. Muve First offers subscribers exclusive content before any other digital music service. Muve Headliner is a monthly program that features A-list artists and provides Muve Music users with exclusive and featured music.
  • Launched the Huawei Ascend II, the successor to Cricket’s highly-successful deployment of its first low-cost Android device, the Ascend, which was launched in October 2010.
  • Introduced two feature-phones, the Samsung Comment and the Kyocera Luno.

About Leap

Leap provides innovative, high-value wireless services to a young and ethnically diverse customer base. With the value of unlimited wireless services as the foundation of its business, Leap pioneered its Cricket service. Cricket products and services are available nationwide through company-owned stores, dealers, national retailers and at MyCricket.com. Through its affordable, flat-rate service plans, Cricket offers customers a choice of unlimited voice, text, data and mobile Web services. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Leap is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “LEAP.” For more information, please visit www.leapwireless.com.

Cricket’s Muve Music Debuts Nationwide on Amazon.com [Nov 21, 2011]

Amazon.com customers now have the opportunity to order Muve Music on either the Samsung Vitality or the ZTE Score Android phones.  In addition to the Vitality and the Score, the Huawei Pillar [intro at $69.99: Sept 22, 2011] feature phone is available now and will soon be joined by other Cricket feature phones including the ZTE Chorus, Kyocera Domino [intro at $99.99: Jul 20, 2010] and the Samsung Chrono [intro at $39.99: June 10, 2011].
[only the ZTE Chorus feature phone is a Cricket Muve Music Phone]

With the Muve Music Smartphone rate plan, Amazon.com customers will enjoy unlimited song downloads, ringtones, and ringback tones, as well as nationwide calling; unlimited text, picture, video messaging and 3G mobile data; mobile video; data back-up, and 411 assistance all for just $55 per month.  The feature phones will be available on the recently announced Cricket PAYGo service plans at $25 and $35 per month.  Both plans include unlimited text, picture and video messaging and unlimited mobile web.  The $25 plan includes 300 minutes of US calling per month while the $35 plan includes 1,000 minutes of US calling.

Operating on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform powered by an 800MHz processor, the fast and affordable Samsung Vitality is easy to use and features Muve Music as well as the Android Market™, Gmail™, Google Maps™ and Google Talk™.

The ZTE Score is a full-featured Android smartphone providing speed and ease of use, making it particularly appealing for those customers looking to upgrade to a device with today’s newest technologies.

Cricket Introduces ZTE Chorus™ with Muve Music [Nov 23, 2011]

imageThe ZTE Chorus™ is ideal for value-conscious consumers looking for a single device to simultaneously manage their mobile and music needs. The bar-style feature phone delivers high functionality with 3G web browsing capabilities and 600 megahertz of processing power while serving as an ideal platform for Cricket’s innovative and unlimited Muve Musicservice. The ZTE Chorus incorporates SRS WOW HD technology for advanced audio playback quality and a dynamic 3D entertainment experience with a deep, rich bass and high-frequency clarity.  Users can customize their sound preferences with SRS sound settings that complement popular music styles including acoustic, blues, hip hop, pop and rock.

The ZTE Chorus provides a robust multimedia experience with its vibrant 3.2-inch WQVGA TFT display with resistive touch screen, 2.0MP camera/camcorder, music and video players, stereo Bluetooth™, and speech recognition capabilities. XT9 Trace technology and a virtual keypad provide a convenient messaging experience with fast and easy text entry.  In addition to Muve Music, the ZTE Chorus comes preloaded with Mobile Web, MyBackup, MyAccount, Cricket Storefront and three customizable idlescreens.

The ZTE Chorus, with an MSRP of $119.99, is available for as low as $39.99 [$49.99] for a limited time at www.mycricket.com, Cricket branded retail stores and dealers.

With the $55 per month Muve Music planfor the ZTE Chorus, Cricket Wireless customers will enjoy unlimited song downloads, ringtones, and ringback tones, as well as unlimited text, picture, and video messaging, 3G mobile data, mobile video, data back-up, and 411 assistance.

Muve Music is the first unlimited music service to be included as part of a wireless rate plan and now has more than 270,000 customers. By applying its philosophy of unlimited services and value innovation, Cricket and Muve Music have given their customers a new music experience that ranks high in customer satisfaction.

Cricket ZTE Chorus™ FAQ (ZTE USA)

Can ZTE Chorus Smart Phone be upgraded from Android 2.2 operating system to Android 2.3?

Currently ZTE Chorus Smart Phone directly uses Android 2.3 operating system. It does not need to upgrade.

Comparing to the previous version, what improvements and characteristics does Android 2.3 operating system have?

  1. Large-scale improvement on the overall performance.
  2. 3G network sharing;
  3. Support Flash;
  4. App2sdfunction;
  5. Brand new application store;
  6. Development of more Web application API interfaces.

How to add Android account in Chorus Smart Phone?

The Phone doesn’t support this function.

[vs. the Cricket ZTE Score true Android smartphone:

Method 1. When you use the handset for the first time, the handset will prompt the user to enter a g-mail account to bind with the handset.
Method 2. It doesn’t matter if you forget to bind a g-mail account with the handset at the first time, and you can also go to Menu—Settings—Accounts & sync to select “Add account”.
X500 Smart Phone doesn’t support g-mail account binding because it has no GMS application.
]

How to install the applications to my Android handset?

You can’t connect to the PC to install the applications through 91 handset assistant because there is no built-in driver in the phone. You can download APK application alone into the SD card in advance, insert the SD card into the phone, and install apk application in Myfiles on the desktop.

[vs. the Cricket ZTE Score true Android smartphone:

Please use 91 handset assistant for Android newly published on the 91 handset website. ]

Does Android belong to Linux operation [sic] system?

Strictly speaking, Android doesn’t belong to Linux operation system and it runs based on Linux2.6. kernel. The levels of Android system can be described like this, the bottom is Linux, the middle is java virtual machine called Dalvik, and the top is Android running time library. The applications in Android system are the Java applications running on Dalvik, but Dalvik is running in Linux. Therefore, it can be said that Android is the operating system that runs on the Linux operating system, and Android itself is not any version of Linux.

What is “Android Market”?

The new Android Marketis described as an “open content distribution system”, which can help Android handset end-users search, purchase, download and install all kinds of contents. Unlike the platform of Microsoft and Apple, Android Market can provide users with diversified contents, including the contents from every large media company and the programs from amateur developers.

Cricket to Introduce Unique New Nationwide Cricket Products Into Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile Locations Nationwide [Sept 22, 2011]

The recently launched Samsung Vitality smartphone will be available for $199.99 (MSRP).  In addition, Muve Music will be available on the newly-launched ZTE Score smartphone for $129.99 (MSRP).  A new Muve Music feature phone will also be introduced in Best Buy, the ZTE Chorus, which will be available later this year at $99.99 (MSRP).
[It has been introduced 2 month later at $119.99 but for a limited time (as an introductory promotion) it is available for $39.99 only (so after that $99.99 could be well established).]

With the Muve Music Smartphone rate plan, Best Buy customers will enjoy unlimited song downloads, ringtones, and ringback tones, as well as nationwide calling; unlimited text, picture, video messaging and 3G mobile data; mobile video; data back-up, and 411 assistance all for just $55 per month. The Muve Music feature phone rate plan in Best Buy will be available for $45 per month.

In addition, Cricket is introducing two additional standard feature phones at Best Buy, the Huawei Pillar ($69.99 MSRP) and the Samsung Chrono($39.99 MSRP).  The Pillar features a QWERTY keyboard for fast and easy text and picture messaging.  Customers can enjoy easy talk and test with one simple flip with the Samsung Chrono.

Both feature phones will be available on two new Cricket PAYGo service plans at $25 and $35 per month.  Both plans include unlimited text, picture and video messaging and unlimited mobile web.  The $25 plan includes 300 minutes of US calling per month while the $35 plan includes 1,000 minutes of US calling.

image

Cricket Announces Upcoming Launch of Muve Music on the Android™ Platform [Sept 8, 2011]

Optimized for a superior music experience, the Samsung Vitality is Cricket’s first Muve Music enabled Android smartphone. Operating on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform powered by an 800MHz processor, the fast and affordable Samsung Vitality is easy to use and features Muve Music as well as the Android Market™, Gmail™, Google Maps™ and Google Talk™.  The Samsung Vitality comes preloaded with a special Muve Music 4GB SanDisk flash memory card, which holds up to 3,000 songs and has 1GB set aside for other multimedia content such as photos and videos.  An 8GB Muve Music memory card will be available for purchase and holds up to 6,000 songs from the Muve Music service.

Other key features include:

  • Real web browsing at 3G speeds
  • 3.5″ HVGA Touchscreen display
  • 3.2MP camera/camcorder
  • Stereo Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Wi-Fi®
  • Access to more than 250,000 apps through the Android Market™
  • Social networking capabilities
  • Email applications for both consumer and business email
  • Voice search

With the Muve Music Smartphone plan, Cricket Wireless customers will enjoy unlimited song downloads, ringtones, and ringback tones, as well as unlimited nationwide calling, text, picture, and video messaging, 3G mobile data, mobile video, data back-up, and 411 assistance all for just $65 per month.

Muve Music will be available next week at Cricket company-owned stores and at www.mycricket.com, as well as through select partner retail outlets. The Cricket Muve Music wireless unlimited plan is $65 per month on the Samsung Vitality and $55 per month on the Samsung Suede. The Samsung Vitality has an M.S.R.P of $219.99, but will be available with a $20 instant rebate. The Samsung Suede has an M.S.R.P. of $199.99, but prices may vary by market and by promotional programs.

Cricket Introduces ZTE Score Android™ Smartphone [Sept 22, 2011]

~ First ZTE Smartphone Launched by Cricket ~

Cricket is the first carrier to launch the ZTE Score, which will be available beginning Sunday, September 25 in Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile locations across the United States and will soon be available through Cricket stores and dealers.

The ZTE Score is a full-featured Android smartphone providing speed and ease of use, making it particularly appealing for those customers looking to upgrade to a device with today’s newest technologies. The phone is based on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) comes with 600 MHz of processing speed and features a 3.5″ HVGA capacitive touch display, accelerometer and virtual qwerty keypad, 3.2MP camera/camcorder, WiFi capable, 3G real web browsing and XT9 Trace for easy text entry.  The ZTE Score also includes the new and innovative Muve Music service, and it also offers access to more than 200,000 apps on the Android market, Google Maps and Navigator, Email, MyAccount, Cricket411, and much more.  The smartphone will be available for $129.99 (MSRP).

With the Muve Music smartphone plan, Cricket Wireless customers will enjoy unlimited song downloads, ringtones, and ringback tones, as well as unlimited text, picture, and video messaging, 3G mobile data, mobile video, data back-up, and 411 assistance.

Cricket’s Muve Music introduction

The Muve Music datasheet at the announcement [Dec 19, 2010]

Muve Music is like no other mobile music service. It was designed exclusively for the mobile phone. With Cricket’s Muve Music rate plan, there are no download fees, no monthly music subscriptions, no streaming music that impacts customers’ data and no contracts or credit cards are required.

Muve Music was created by Cricket in collaboration with the four major record labels: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI Music, and technology partners Samsung Mobile and SanDisk. Muve Music will launch with a robust catalog of music content from each of the four labels.

clip_image002Muve Music, the first wireless rate plan with unlimited music. For just $55 per month Muve Music customers get:
• Unlimited nationwide calling
• Unlimited nationwide text, picture & video messaging
• Unlimited global text messaging
• Unlimited 3G mobile Web
• Unlimited email
• Unlimited data back up
• Unlimited video
PLUS
• Unlimited full track downloads
• Unlimited ringtones
• Unlimited ringback tones

Muve Music will be available in January 2011 on the Samsung Suede™ (SCH-r710). It features a dedicated music button, prominently displayed on the front of the device that takes customers to the Muve Music experience with one touch. Other highlights include:

  • high-end 3G multi-media device
  • full 3-inch touchscreen display
  • HTML web browser
  • virtual QWERTY keyboard
  • easy-to-navigate user interface
  • 4GB SanDisk flash memory card included
  • $199 M.S.R.P.

The cadence of nationwide introduction:
Cricket Launches Muve Music in Las Vegas [Jan 20, 2011]
Cricket Expands Availability of Muve Music to 13 New Markets Nationwide [Feb 14, 2011]
Cricket Launches Muve Music Unlimited Wireless Rate Plan in New Markets [March 31, 2011]: “… With the addition of these new markets, Muve Music will be available in 26 Cricket markets across the country.
Cricket Passes Three-Quarter Mark in Launching its Muve Music Unlimited Wireless Rate Plan in New Markets across United States [April 12, 2011]: “… With the addition of these new markets, Muve Music is now available in 48 Cricket markets across the country.
Cricket Turns up the Volume: Muve Music Now Available in All Cricket Markets [May 2, 2011]
Cricket’s Muve Music Hits a High Note; Surpasses 100,000 Customer Mark in Five Short Months [July 7, 2011]

Cricket Introduces First Wireless Rate Plan with Unlimited Music Included

~ Innovative, New Digital Music Service Muve Music™ will Debut
at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

SAN DIEGO – December 20, 2010 – Cricket Communications Inc., a leading provider of innovative and value-driven wireless services and a wholly owned subsidiary of Leap Wireless International, Inc. (NASDAQ:LEAP), today announcedit is the first U.S. wireless carrier to offer consumers unlimited music as part of a new wireless rate plan. This product offering features an innovative new digital music service called Muve Music. It is the first music experience designed specifically for the mobile phone.

Cricket was the first to introduce an unlimited wireless rate plan and now we are the first to introduce a new unlimited wireless rate plan that includes unlimited music. With Muve Music, Cricket is bringing together the best of wireless and music in a way no one has ever done before,” said Doug Hutcheson, president and chief executive officer of Cricket Communications. “Our recent experience with smartphones has shown us that the right products offered at the right price will be successful with value-oriented customers. We are excited and confident that Muve Music will provide a superior mobile experience for customers who want to create a personal music experience without being tethered to a computer. The result of our collaboration with the music industry during the past two years allows unlimited music downloads, ringtones and ringback tones to be included in a wireless service for a flat monthly rate. We believe the high quality Muve Music experience is the right product at the right time for value oriented customers.”

“Muve Music from Cricket is a game changer for everyone,” said Ben Bajarin, director of Consumer Technology Practice at Creative Strategies. “By tightly integrating the music service into the handset and the billing plan everyone in the value chain benefits and consumers have a complete music service where the phone is the hub not the PC.”

The Muve Music Rate Plan

For just $55 per month, Muve Music customers will get the following features on Cricket’s nationwide 3G network:

  • Unlimited nationwide calling
  • Unlimited nationwide text, picture & video messaging
  • Unlimited global text messaging
  • Unlimited 3G mobile Web
  • Unlimited email
  • Unlimited data back up
  • Unlimited video

And for the first time anywhere in the U.S.

  • Unlimited full track downloads
  • Unlimited ringtones
  • Unlimited ringback tones

With Cricket’s Muve Music rate plan, there are no download fees and no monthly music subscriptions. Customers’ data plans will not be impacted by streaming music over the wireless network and customers won’t be required to use a credit card to purchase music. Unlimited Muve Music is included in the flat rate monthly wireless service plan.

Introducing the Muve Music Service Experience

Two years ago Cricket, in collaboration with key music industry and technology partners, began to create new IP and design a new music experience to meet the needs of customers for whom the phone, not their computer, is the center of their digital life. Muve Music brings the functionality that resides on many online digital music services to the palm of the customer’s hand. The service also delivers innovative new features and functionality that only a wireless network and true mobile offering can provide. With Cricket’s new service there are no cables, no drivers, no synching and no complexity. Everything happens over Cricket’s nationwide 3G network to deliver a robust music experience to music lovers on the go.

Muve Music will have a robust catalog of music content which includes the four major record labels: Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Music. This groundbreaking new music service and business model was brought about through a unique collaboration, led by Cricket, between the music industry labels, as well as technology partners Samsung Mobile and SanDisk.

“When we first began working with Cricket to model this new service, we quickly realized what a great opportunity it was to develop the first-ever US unlimited music service that comes bundled with a mobile voice, text, and web plan and is fully integrated into the phone itself,” stated David Ring, executive vice president of business development and business affairs for Universal Music Group, eLabs. “There has been nothing like this product or business model ever attempted in this country.”

“Cricket has developed a very compelling experience for their customers which is extremely well integrated into the device and wireless service plan through a new business model that establishes a great approach to partnership in the mobile music space,” said Michael Nash, executive vice president, digital strategy and business development, Warner Music Group. “We’re thrilled to work with their talented team and hope their innovative Muve Music service proves to be influential as we continue to work with the wireless industry to transform the way consumers experience music on mobile phones.”

“Muve Music is a first-of-its-kind solution for US consumers,” said Thomas Hesse, president, global digital business, U.S. sales and corporate strategy, Sony Music Entertainment. “The inclusion of a premium digital music service in the wireless plan is an exciting new opportunity to expand the market for commercial digital music.”

“Muve Music is a truly new kind of mobile music experience, and we’re excited about its potential to connect fans to the artists they love in a unique and innovative way,” said Mark Piibe, executive vice president of global business development, EMI Music.

The Samsung Suede Debuts as the First Muve Music Phone

At launch, Muve Music will be available on the Samsung Suede™ (SCH-r710), marking the unique integration of an innovative new music service and a phone from a leading global handset manufacturer. The Suede is a high-end 3G multi-media devicewith a full 3-inch touchscreen display, HTML web browser, virtual QWERTY keyboard and an easy-to-navigate user interface. Most notably, it features a dedicated music button, prominently displayed on the front of the device, that takes customers to the Muve Music experience with one touch.

The Muve Music service also includes a new technology solution from SanDisk that’s a key part of the service. Muve Music content is downloaded DRM-free over the air to the phone. It is stored and protected on a special flash memory card. This alleviates the need for any cumbersome digital rights management (DRM) scheme and results in a greatly improved user experience, better handset performance and longer battery life.

Muve Music: Meeting the Customers’ Needs

Muve Music is Cricket’s latest innovation. It had its genesis in 2007 when the Company observed interesting customer behavior surrounding its newly launched basic ringback tone service. Within a few quarters of launch, Cricket was generating more revenue for the music industry from ringback tones than most U.S. wireless carriers even though Cricket had a much smaller customer base. Continued analysis led the Company to conclude that Cricket’s customers loved music but they were not having a good music experiencethus prompting the development of Muve Music to provide customers with a way to get the music they love on their wireless phones through a flat-rate plan served by a network they can rely upon.

See Muve Music at CES

Muve Music and the Samsung Suede will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, January 6-10, 2011 and can been seen at South Hall 4, upper level, Room S210 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The service will be available in January 2011, at select Cricket company-owned stores and at http://www.mycricket.com, as well as through select partner retail outlets. The Cricket Muve Music wireless unlimited plan is $55 per month. The Samsung Suede has an M.S.R.P. of $199.

For more information about Muve Music visit http://www.muvemusic.com and for Cricket’s dynamic device lineup, please visit http://www.mycricket.com.

About Cricket

Cricket is the pioneer of simple and affordable unlimited wireless services with no long-term commitments or credit checks required serving more than 5 million customers in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Cricket offers wireless voice and broadband Internet services over the latest technology, high-quality, all-digital 3G CDMA2000 1X and 1xEV-DO wireless network. Cricket’s nationwide wireless voice service plans include unlimited anytime minutes, unlimited U.S. long distance, unlimited text and picture messaging, unlimited text to Mexico, unlimited Mobile Web, unlimited directory assistance, as well as a variety of calling features and feature-rich mobile applications such as popular games, ringtones and wallpapers. Cricket Broadband provides unlimited Internet access anywhere within Cricket’s coverage areas at speeds comparable to DSL. For more information on Cricket, visit http://www.mycricket.com. Cricket is offered by Leap Wireless International, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, Calif. For more information on Leap, visit www.leapwireless.com.

About Nacsa Sándor

Lazure Kft. • infokommunikációs felhő szakértés • high-tech marketing • elérhetőség: snacsa@live.com Okleveles villamos és automatizálási mérnök (1971) Munkahelyek: Microsoft, EMC, Compaq és Digital veterán. Korábban magyar cégek (GDS Szoftver, Computrend, SzáMOK, OLAJTERV). Jelenleg Lazure Kft. Amire szakmailag büszke vagyok (időrendben visszafelé): – Microsoft .NET 1.0 … .NET 3.5 és Visual Studio Team System bevezetések Magyarországon (2000 — 2008) – Digital Alpha technológia vezető adatközponti és vállalati szerver platformmá tétele (másokkal együttes csapat tagjaként) Magyarországon (1993 — 1998) – Koncepcionális modellezés (ma használatos elnevezéssel: domain-driven design) az objektum-orientált programozással kombinált módon (1985 — 1993) – Poszt-graduális képzés a miniszámítógépes szoftverfejlesztés, konkurrens (párhuzamos) programozás és más témákban (1973 — 1984) Az utóbbi időben általam művelt területek: ld. lazure2.wordpress.com (Experiencing the Cloud) – Predictive strategies based on the cyclical nature of the ICT development (also based on my previous findings during the period of 1978 — 1990) – User Experience Design for the Cloud – Marketing Communications based on the Cloud
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5 Responses to Blurring lines between smartphones and feature phones: the Muve Music Phone case from Cricket Communications

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