Pots of handsets on the way...Virgin Mobile has announced it's jumping from being an operator to being a handset vendor.
The mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is teaming up with Korean manufacturer Bellwave to bring out a new range of phones under the brand name Lobster. The phones, according to Virgin, are targeted at young consumers between the ages of 16 and 30.
The operator is planning a series of Lobsters this year, with the first handset - the 485 - available from early June.
The MVNO is also hoping the handset launch will drive data revenue as all Lobster phones will sport a shortcut button on the keypad to take users to Virgin's entertainment service.
Virgin's move into 'niche' co-branded handsets comes hot on the heels of fellow operator Vodafone's own move to stamp its name on a series of phones. Vodafone, however, is seeking silver surfers with its Simply mobiles, which boast call and text functionality only.