Virgin Mobile USA Debuts Streaming Music Handheld

Virgin Mobile USA is now offering a phone that supports streaming music, a first for the pre-paid carrier.

The Kyocera device, called the “Wild Card,” also features a full QWERTY keyboard and a full range of entertainment and communication capabilities.  The Wild Card represents an upgrade over the “Switch_Back,” which debuted last year.  The dual-screen flip phone balances a more

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conventional voice display with a second screen to manage music, emailing, IMing, and other tasks.

Like most of its multimedia peers, the Wild Card offers a broad range of features, including a camera phone, Bluetooth capabilities, and internet surfing.  On the music end, Virgin is spinning a subscription feature called “Headliner” for $2.49.  That offering includes regular tour updates, music news, artist information, music charts and access to a streaming music catalog.  Consumer are required to pay 25-cents per each song streamed, a fee that could create issues for heavy listeners.  The Wild Card is currently available across major US-based retail outlets, and carries a price tag of $99.