Virgin Mobile looks ready to euthanize Helio brand, Ocean 2 vanishes
byChris Ziegler||October 28th 2009 at 5:02amOctober 28th 2009 5:02 am
Back in our day, the kiddies all ran around with Helios, VK Mobile looked like it could be the next Pantech, and "Kickflip" was a phone, not a skateboarding move. Okay, fine -- we knew like one or two people that used Helio, VK Mobile never even made a dent in the US market, and skateboarding had a lock on kickflips long before the wireless industry did -- and actually, that perfect storm of bad news may have ultimately led the once-promising MVNO to the sad situation we have here today under Virgin Mobile's stewardship. Virgin has now all but erased the memory of Helio from its website, leaving just the Ocean and Mysto to soldier on -- and the phones now go by their ODM's names (Pantech and Samsung, respectively) rather than Helio proper. The strangest part is that the Ocean seems to have outlasted its replacement, the Ocean 2, which is now gone -- unless you hit up Virgin Mobile's Korean language site, a sub-brand in itself that it inherited from Helio and has a track record of giving members of the community better, faster access to hot devices. Any way you slice it, though, it never made sense for Virgin to run two brands -- Helio's fate was sealed the moment the sale was finalized, but considering the company's spot-on mantra of "bring awesome Asian phone tech to North America," we'll always have a soft spot in our hearts for these guys.