And maybe, just maybe, will bring a carrier store experience that doesn't make you want to flee
Jennifer Lopez. Singer, actress, judge on American Idol -- and, now, smartphone retailer. Verizon today at its big event at CTIA in Las Vegas announced that JLo will be heading up Viva Movil, which promises to revolutionize the wireless shopping experience for Latino consumers. This isn't a Verizon venture, per se, as the deal is between Ms. Lopez, Brightstar (which handles distribution and services) and Moorehead Communications, Verizon's premium retailer.
The shopping experience promises to be the differentiator here. Physical stores will be located, at first, in New York, Los Angeles and Miami, with Manhattan up first with a shop in a high-traffic area. (We'd bet Times Square, but nothing official was announced.) The stores are said to have a more friendly shopping experience than what you might be used to -- and perhaps the smartest question in the Q&A session came from Laptop's Mark Spoonauer, who asked if Verizon's own carrier stores might get the same sort of makeover one day. Verizon said it'll think about it. (We're not holding our breath for that one.)
You'll also be able to have a "unique social shopping experience" through the Viva Movil Facebook page, getting personalized recommendations, shop with your friends, comment on devices and share what you just purchased. Sounds great.
As for devices, it's the usual fare, including:
- Samsung Galaxy S3
- Samsung Galaxy Note 2
- Samsung Galaxy Stellar
- Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD
- Motorola Droid RAZR HD
- Motorola Droid RAZR M
- Motorola Droid 4
- HTC Droid DNA
- LG Intuition
Why JLo? Why not, we suppose. She freely admitted she's new to the mobile space, so far as this sort of venture is concerned. But it also was reiterated that she's not just another paid celebrity acting as "chief creative officer," even though she's acting as chief creative officer. "Jennifer is a shareholder," we were told. "She is not a paid celebrity."