Cost is Really Not an Issue for Prepaid Wireless

by Kathy
(Benton, Kentucky, USA)

All things considered, prepaid wireless phones are worth their weight in gold. Typically, when you buy another type of phone plan you are asked to sign up for automatic withdrawal from your bank account. You don't have to subject yourself to an automatic withdrawal, which may short-change you in a rough month even to the point of overdrawing your account if you lose track of the days and bank account balance.

Nowadays there are phones available that will accept prepaid wireless providers that have all of the features that you used to only be able to find on billed plans; billed plans being those that send you a bill every month often in a package with a cable or satellite TV service, an Internet connection and maybe even your land line phone, all compiled into one handy bill for you. These wireless phone bills are very expensive even when combined in a package, if you leave the wireless phone off of the bill you will usually save $40 to $50, sometimes even more.

Over just a few months time you have saved enough money to easily afford a specialized, higher end phone. The phones that slide, fold shut, have touchscreen operations or picture taking capacities are more expensive than basic models, but after saving such a large sum of money in the first place you can now afford one of them. Of course it is important to check with your provider to be certain of which phone models actually work with their phone networks. Different phone models do not work interchangeably with all prepaid phone providers.

What I'm trying to say here is that you can easily afford a phone with special features if you take advantage of prepaid offers from major prepaid wireless companies. Phones you might love can cost from $40 to $70 when purchased new. If you like you could even save on the phone you choose by looking for refurbished models; sometimes these cost as little as $15 to $29. Who could ask for more?

Even $80 to $130 is reasonable for a phone that costs $30 or more dollars less a month to operate. As a bargain hunter who prefers a quality bargain, I think buying a phone that includes special features and design for $60 or less is the best bargain around.

Whenever and if ever Blackberry, Motorola Citrus, iPhone or Android create a device that works with prepaid wireless, there is a possibility that I would be more than happy to pay the higher price even at $225. I definitely would be interested if I could purchase one of the "smart" phones for $90 or less, which might happen if I look for a refurbished one. It looks like Nokia might already have a smartphone that operates with some prepaid wireless providers.

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Jan 17, 2011
Prepaid Smartphones for Reasonable Prices
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

If you look at the link in my previous comment, you'll see that you can get some very nice prepaid smartphones for $300 or less, and even $200 or less, and prices continue to get better for better quality phones. I don't think you need to spend $400-$600.

Jan 16, 2011
Prepaid Carriers
by: Anonymous

If you want a nice smart phone, be prepared to spend $200.00 or more on a refurbished phone. If you prefer new be prepared to step up & pay $400-$600.00. No contract,no credit check Month to month, just pay as you go. Like surfing the web from your phone, get an unlimited prepaid plan with unlimited data. T-Mobile Prepaid offers 100 MEG's data for $50.00.TMO's Unlimited plan goes for $70.00 Same for Boost or Virgin Mobile as both owned by Sprint & both use their network.
Need really good coverage? Try Page Plus Prepaid which uses the Verizon network Sorry, great coverage but it only 30 & 50 MEG data plans. Check out H20(At&T) and their $50.00 per mo. plan. Metro PCS sounded a huge wake up call & now all the big boys are coming out with competitive unlimited plans.

Jan 13, 2011
Prepaid Smartphones on Prepaid Wireless
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Thank you for sharing your thoughts; you make some great points. Specifically, I think a lot of people forget to calculate the ongoing monthly plan cost before they get scared off by the upfront cost of the phone itself.

I also wanted to let you know that 2010 was the year of prepaid smartphone explosion, and you can check out available smartphones at the Smartphone Comparison page. I continue to update that page as new prepaid smartphones become available!

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I'd pay $600 for a no contract smartphone

by Alan
(Edmonton, Alberta)

For a regular phone I would pay between $30 and $100. For a Smartphone I'd pay up to $600. My current phone, Motorola Quench (= MotoQ, I paid $375 a little less than a year ago.

The only "Contract" I would tolerate is a "Tab", one that diminishes this retail price over time. If one breaks the contract all one pays is the diminished price.

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Jun 27, 2011
Scaling Early Termination Fee
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Thank you for your feedback. At $600 for a smartphone, you should be able to buy virtually any top-of-the-line smartphone on the market today (ex. EVO 3D, iPhone 4, Droid, etc.). I remember paying $700 for a non-subsidized Palm Treo 700p back when it first came out, however, most phones nowadays don't even go up that high.

The good news is that for much less than that (in the $300-$400 range), you can now get a full featured smartphone on prepaid, and over the remainder of the year you'll see top end performance, including 1GHz processors, 5MP cameras, high resolution displays, etc. i.e. Your price point is very fair, and even higher than you need to pay.

A couple of years ago there were class action lawsuits against major carriers regarding the early termination fee, commonly $200. I can't recall if it was Verizon or AT&T that was first, however, the result was that postpaid carriers starting doing exactly what you describe, whereby the Early Termination Fee (ETF) would be diminished with each passing month that you remained on your contract plan. So, in this example, mid-way through a 2 year contract, you would only have to pay $100.

This made a lot of sense. The spirit of the ETF was to ensure carriers made back their money on subsidized phones by avoiding customers from leaving too early. However, clearly, after a year or more, they've certainly made up the subsidy cost. Believe it or not, it can take 6 months or more (depending on what plan you're on) for a carrier to actually break even. Anyway, charging the full amount a few months before the end of your contract certainly made no sense at all.

So, if there's a phone or plan you just have to have on postpaid, and you're willing to sign a contract, the ETF isn't as bad as it used to be. Though prepaid often tends to have the same or similar plans and features for a much lower monthly cost. If you can find a prepaid phone you like, you're golden!

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