Prepaid Smartphones!

I want prepaid smartphones now!  The reality is that despite a slow initial entrance into the prepaid space, there are now a TON of prepaid smartphones currently available on every prepaid wireless provider, including Apple iPhones and Android phones.  Windows Phone and Blackberry smartphones can also be found from select no contract carriers.  It truly is amazing how how far the smartphone market in this industry has come, no longer offering low cost, low end handsets, but also the latest and greatest from Apple and Samsung.  We really have seen a complete revolution in a short number of years that has dramatically transformed the prepaid wireless space.  Historically when I would chat with people about prepaid, they would always balk at the lame phones that were available.  While that was certainly true at one time, that's 100% no longer the case!  Let's look at the evolution:


Why Prepaid Smartphones?
Believe it or not, there are still many people out there (mostly in North America) who still believe that prepaid wireless, or no contract cell phone plans, are only (or at least mostly) for the low end of Cricket Samsung Galaxy S4the wireless market.  While that used to be the case, it is certainly no longer true, and you only need to look at most other countries in the world to see how dominant no contract wireless has been for literally decades.  The bottom line is that prepaid wireless is dominating across the world, and even carriers in North America have seen prepaid growth out-pace postpaid growth starting as long ago as 2009.  Sprint Nextel certainly believes this is the case, and have been busy growing their prepaid, no contract wireless portfolio.  Read more about Sprint Prepaid Cellular Phones.  We've also seen the other major carriers enhance their prepaid programs, including launching completely new prepaid brands.


So what does this mean?  Well, as prepaid wireless continues to become more popular, consumers like us start to demand better phones with more features.  We're no longer second class citizens!  We want high performance phones with massive screens, and awesome cameras.  We want to do photo editing, share and view large files, open Word and Excel documents, and download games and applications, etc.  Prepaid smartphones are the answer to our needs and technology desires!

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Why Did Prepaid Smartphone Selection Take So Long To Grow?
Fortunately, this is an easy question to answer.  The selection of smartphones on prepaid started out small for the following reasons:
  • Before prepaid wireless offers in general began to grow, there really wasn't a market for it.  Since 2009, as the prepaid wireless market has proven to be a dominant force, and an important source of growth for prepaid carriers, they were hard at work launching higher end phones, including smartphones.  In 2012 we saw tremendous progress with the launch of the iconic Samsung Galaxy S3 and Apple iPhone 5 on prepaid.  Since then, the options have continued to increase at an almost alarming rate.  In fact, prepaid carriers have started launching the most popular phones at virtually the same time as the big four (i.e. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile).
  • There really is a lot of technology in smartphones; let's not take that for granted.  And that technology costs money.  OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) charge a lot of money to carriers to buy their phones.  While postpaid wireless has the benefit of contracts and handset Subsidies, prepaid doesn't.  This means that these phones cost A LOT of money out-of-pocket to us customers; more than most people have historically been willing to pay.  This is why prepaid carriers have been experimenting with Smartphone Financing programs.
The good news is that as smartphones have become more and more popular across the globe, the overall cost to build them has come down (and will continue to decline).  As the price comes down, we'll see an even better selection of prepaid smartphones being offered at more affordable prices.  That's why the ones that you saw available in 2009 and 2010 tend to be older models, because the OEMs are more willing to sell them to carriers at a lower price to deplete their inventory.  However, we also saw a lot of great phones appear in 2011 and 2012 from Huawei, LG, and others who now see the prepaid market as a critically important one.  And of course, 2013 and beyond saw Samsung and Apple as runaway successes.  Whether you're looking for a no contract smartphone or a postpaid plan, click over to Best Smartphone to learn what features you might want to consider as you make your selection.  Also feel free to learn more about Cell Phone Insurance, and whether you should consider it, now that you're starting to spend more on your phone.  Lastly, you can read about the inevitable death of the Feature Phone!



Prepaid Smartphones

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