Chinese cell phone maker ZTE has introduced another device for the U.S. market. The new ZTE Memo is an advanced feature phone available on Leap Wireless' Cricket service.
The ZTE Memo is a low-cost, 3G bar-style feature phone. It offers full Web browsing, a QWERTY keyboard for quick messaging, MP3 player, and access to popular Cricket services, such as its Cricket Navigator service.
The phone costs $99.99 and is available for Cricket's prepaid service.
"The ZTE Memo brings Cricket customers a great QWERTY data phone with features they want at an affordable price," Matt Stoiber, Cricket vice president and general manager of devices, said in a statement.
Last month, Cricket announced its first ZTE smartphone, the ZTE Score, which uses Android 2.3 and comes with a 600MHz processor. It also features a 3.5-inch touch screen and a 3.2 megapixel camera along with Wi-Fi access. It costs $130.
Cricket, which is owned by Leap Wireless, is a leading prepaid wireless service provider. And the company has been expanding its network across the U.S. to compete with bigger wireless carriers. But unlike AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the market leaders in wireless, Cricket focuses exclusively on price-sensitive customers in the prepaid market.
Cricket's customers don't sign a contract for the service, but that means that they pay full price for their phones. This fact alone puts pressure on the carrier and its phone manufacturers to offer devices at affordable prices.