NEW YORK — Sprint and Samsung are going to start selling a $50 "eco-conscious" phone with a casing of biodegradable plastic.
Several manufacturers have made "green" phones, but they have generally been barebones devices, like the Motorola Renew carried by T-Mobile USA.
The new Samsung Reclaim has a slide-out standard-layout keyboard, e-mail and Web access, a camera and GPS navigation. The phone goes on sale Aug. 16.
The plastic of the casing is 40 percent corn-based. The phone's charger lights up when the phone is fully charged, to remind the owner to unplug it to save electricity.
David Owens, Sprint Nextel Corp.'s director of product marketing, said the company is paying more than the usual amount of subsidies to Samsung to bring the price down to $49.99 for customers signing two-year contracts.
"We took a big step to put it under the $50 price because that's where we know there's a lot of volume," he said.
The price applies after a $50 mail-in rebate.
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