Sprint, Samsung Launch Seek Phone

Billed as a compact messaging device, the Seek phone is aimed at the low end of the mobile market.

Esther Shein, Contributor

May 10, 2010

3 Min Read

Sprint's Samsung Seek

Sprint's Samsung Seek

(click image for larger view)
Sprint's Samsung Seek

The Samsung Seek, billed as an affordable and compact "messaging device" was announced Monday by Sprint and Samsung Mobile. Geared at young users, the Sleek has a full QWERTY slide-out keyboard, a touchscreen and is available now.

"Their positioning makes a lot of sense because what you have here is a low-end feature phone that is enhanced by having a touch screen,'' said Ken Hyers, a senior analyst at Technology Business Research, Inc., in Chapel Hill, N.C. "The lowest end of the market has traditionally been boring. To add a touchscreen makes it more interesting because there's more choice here … What we're seeing now is a race to get touch on as many phones as possible."

The Seek comes with a 1.3 megapixel camera, a built-in music player with microSD card slot, supporting up to 32GB, customizable menu, text messaging, picture messaging, instant messaging and quick shortcuts to several social networking applications. Hyers called it a "very limited smartphone" for someone who is "not going to be the most sophisticated buyer, definitely a value buyer."

The Seek is available for $29.99 with a new two-year service agreement, after a $50 mail-in rebate. It comes in blue and red and will be available in pink on June 6.

While Sprint is pairing the Seek with its Everything Data 450 plan for $69.99 per month, Hyers said that seems too high for the type of phone it is. "I don't see why someone would pay $70 [to use] this device … It's not competitive with a genuine smartphone,'' he said, adding that customers can get a 450 minute talk plan for $40 from Sprint or a basic plan of 200 minutes for $30. "I would suggest someone look at that and add on a text plan rather than pay $70 per month."

In tandem with the Seek's launch, Sprint and Samsung are testing a new recycling plan that enables customers to reuse the device's packaging to ship old wireless phones, batteries, accessories and data cards with a postage-paid paper mailing label. Customers who purchase the blue or pink Samsung Seek may use the label and box to repackage their old equipment for recycling at no charge.

Sprint will recycle both the equipment and the box. In the mode of A/B testing, to compare the effectiveness of the plan, the red Samsung Seek will contain the traditional postage-paid envelope for customers to recycle their old wireless device.

All net proceeds from the sale of recycled equipment collected will be used to fund and promote 4NetSafety, a Sprint charitable program, said Kevin Packingham, Sprint senior vice president, Product Development.

About the Author(s)

Esther Shein


Esther Shein has extensive experience writing and editing for both print and the web with a focus on business and technology as well as education and general interest features.

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