Verizon Wireless today announced that they are indeed launching the Casio G’zOne, produced by UTStarcom.
This is the first Japanese EV-DO phone to be sold unmodified in the United States, aside from a band change to support American CDMA frequencies. The G’zOne was sold in Japan between 2003 and 2005 under the model W21CA. It has since been replaced with future models in the G’zOne line in Japan (specifically, the W42CA).
The G’zOne line is primarily featured for its extreme durability; the G’zOne can be submerged in water, handle extreme shock, dust, and physical damage. However, the phone is also fully featured with a 2.0 Megapixel camera and full support for V CAST services. Verizon will offer the G’zOne for $299 with new two-year agreement, $429 without contract.
It is also worth noting that the phone will indeed lack Bluetooth. This is because when the W21CA was developed in Japan, Bluetooth was not considered popular in Japan. The W42CA currently sold in Japan does carry Bluetooth.
PCS Intel back in March provided the first confirmation that the G’zOne would be carried in the United States.