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Device update: Focusing on feature phones and refurbs

After a string of additions to our mid-range and hero Android smartphone lineup, we’ve made some progress on the feature phone front too. We’ll be adding the Samsung Array (M390) to the lineup just as soon as we get them in the warehouse. We’ll also be adding the accessible flip feature phone that some customers have been asking for in the near future.

Both of these devices will hit the Ting devices page by the end of October. Sooner, supply chain willing.

Accessible feature phone

We finally have a confirmation on the model number for this guy. We thought it would be the Samsung M400… but when all our searches turned up a PocketPC device (the SCH-M400) we had some doubts.

Turns out, the Samsung M400 is indeed the accessible feature phone that will be available soon, but with the SPH precursor (SPH-M400).

This device features a large 2.4-inch inside screen with easily adjustable font sizes. It has a colossal keypad with large numbers, a dedicated 911 key and “in case of emergency” button that stores three contacts for quick dialling should the need arise. It’s also got a hands-free speaker button that pushes calls through the louder rear speaker. In addition, a text to speech utility will read off on-screen text including contact names, caller ID history, missed calls and also helps with menu navigation for the visually impaired.

More refurbished options

Given the popularity of the refurb devices we’ve been able to offer so far, we’ve redoubled our efforts to get more and better refurbs. Side note: What does redoubled even mean, really? Seems strangely unquantifiable given that it’s used to refer to a quantity… Don’t think I’ll be using that one again.

We ran a poll on Facebook asking if anyone was interested in the Kyocera Echo refurbished at about $60. This device is an odd one with its dual screens and quasi tablet mode. Voting so far suggests people aren’t really interested. If you feel differently or if you agree, cast a vote.

We’re planning to partner with a reseller of used and refurbished devices to expand our available product offering further. When BYO(S)D comes online we’ll be able to offer up used and refurbished Sprint devices for use on Ting too. That will mean a huge increase in the number of devices that we can offer for use on Ting.

When talking to potential partners, we’re very careful to ensure they understand what we’re doing and that they keep customer service as close to their hearts as we do. We can’t say who the third party we’ll be working with is until the ink is dry but rest assured, they’re really good at what they do.

In addition to adding to our device offering, this partner also offers a used device purchase program which means Ting (or really, any) device could also be sent in for some cash without the Craigslist / Kijiji / eBay hassles.