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Verizon Perks Up Brew Phone Lineup

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 7:51am
Maisie Ramsay

SAN DIEGO—Verizon Wireless said today it plans to expand its line of feature phones using Qualcomm's Brew platform.

The operator announced during Qualcomm's Uplinq conference it would launch "several" new Brew and Brew MP phones in the coming months. Verizon did not provide details or specific launch dates for the devices.

The majority of Verizon's new Brew devices will come with an updated application storefront that lets customers preview some apps before they buy them. The updated app store supports in-app purchases, direct carrier billing and will also use a recommendation engine from Qualcomm subsidiary Xiam Technologies.

Greg Haller, Verizon's vice president for consumer solutions, said the company was committed to the feature phone platform despite its increased focus on smartphones running platforms like Android and Windows Phone 7.

"Verizon Wireless remains focused on providing innovative applications across all types of devices, including the millions of Brew and Brew MP phones used by our customers," Haller said in a statement.

Verizon is encouraging its feature phone customers to use apps and data with an addition to their monthly service plan. For $10 a month, users of Verizon's basic phones get 75MB of data, access to mobile e-mail and monthly subscriptions to VZ Navigator and ringback tones.

Verizon is a longtime supporter of Brew and first began offering handsets running the feature phone platform in 2002.

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