Exclusive: The Helio Ocean 3 That Could Have Been

Yesterday was a sad day for me, albeit one that was a long time coming. Yesterday, Helio, a wireless MVNO co-operated by EarthLink and South Korea’s SK Telecom, let out its final death cry. As I predicted in March, Virgin Mobile, who had acquired the failing company just two years prior, was pulling the plug on the post-paid side of their service that Helio had become. The lights were dimmed, the blinds were closed, and accounts were terminated. Just like that, Helio was dead.

As a small (yet lovely) chunk of our MobileCrunch readers may know, Helio was of some importance to me. On a whim one weekend, long before I became a writer here, I founded a community called Heliocity — which, as you could probably guess by now, was focused on Helio. It was a pretty tightly knit group of 10 thousand-or-so of the geekiest geeks you’ll ever meet, hacking at — and nerding out over — every Helio phone we could get our hands on. That community got me into blogging, which took me to all sorts of industry events, where I in turn met all the people who eventually lead me to my job here at TechCrunch.

To celebrate this nostalgia and recognize the rather cool company that once was, I present: the Helio Ocean 3. This is the phone that was to be Helio’s savior; this is their unfinished magnum opus. Prior to today, it was a myth; no one outside of the company had seen it, and the number of people within the company who had seen it could be counted on two hands.

Read the rest at MobileCrunch >>

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