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Prepaid Wireless Tracker #73, July 2014 - Carriers Offer New Smartphones & Beefed Up Plans!
July 01, 2014

Prepaid Wireless Tracker - July 2014 Issue #73


Prepaid wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry.  At I try to provide you with in-depth information that isn't readily available anywhere else.  The content is original, and created from firsthand experience working in the prepaid wireless industry for over a decade.

This monthly email provides you with a quick glance at what's trending in the news so that you can easily keep informed.  I believe in brief, to-the-point summaries/commentary so that you can move onto other tasks in your day.  Each snippet includes a link to the original story should you be interested in the full details.

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T-Mobile Offer No Contract iPhones
Customers can now get the popular iPhone on T-Mobile no contract plans, including T-Mobile stores, Apple stores, and Costco, although it's still not available on it's MetroPCS prepaid brand.  I expect it will only be a matter of time for that.  I recall not too many years ago when none of the major carriers would allow iPhones to be activated on no contract plans.  Now it's really a prerequisite to compete in the wireless space.  Customers even get a $50 benefit when they purchase a T-Mobile iPhone.

Cricket Wireless Offers Galaxy S5 For $50 Off
IT Business Net
Cricket is now offering the Galaxy S5 smartphone, which is eligible for its $50 mail-in Visa card promotion.  While I hate rebate programs, I understand why companies like them, as they allow for the marketing impact of reduced pricing, while resulting in a lower cost when not all eligible customers take the time to submit the required rebate forms.  For those of you who don't mind a few minutes of extra paperwork and stamp, this is a pretty good deal, though at $540 you still may want to consider one of their financing options.

Virgin Mobile payLo Offers Lowest Cost Feature Phone Plans In Walmart
Wall Street Journal
Sprint is launching its no contract Virgin Mobile payLo product in Walmart with a $20 unlimited voice (50 texts) OR unlimited texting (50 min voice) plan; no data is included.  This is obviously for customers who either primarily call or text, and who don't need a smartphone (it's available only on 2 feature phones).  Given all of the hype around high end smartphones, cheap plans, and data allowances, there are still customers who primarily just call or text.  For those people, this is a nice offering, and really gets closer to Walmart's roots of offering the least expensive products.  Will it be a huge revenue driver, or mostly be used as a tempory, throw-away phone and service, still remains to be seen.  In the meantime, it provides customers with an additional simple, lost cost offer.

Cricket Offers Nokia Lumia 1320 Phablet

At $230 (after $50 mail in rebate), it's a great offer for a 6" phablet with decent specs, a large battery, and Windows Phone operating system.  Personally I haven't tried a Windows Phone yet, however, I'm told it works very smoothly; less complex than Android, while offering more than iOS for those that enjoy a little more flexibility.  Keep in mind that 6" is big!  It won't fit nicely in your pants pocket while sitting, so this is purely a hold-in-hand, purse, or bag-sized device.  Where it lacks in portability, it gains in fantastic content consumption (ex. Intenet browsing, movies, Faceboo, etc.).

T-Mobile Beefs Up Data Allowances & Cuts Prices

As with many carriers, both prepaid and contract, T-Mobile is beefing up its plans with either price reductions, or high speed data allowance increases.  They've updated both their no contract GoSmart brand, as well as the Brightspot Target no contract brand, which is also on the T-Mobile network.  I expect it will take the better part of the next 12 months before prices and data allowances stabilize.  In the meantime, if you're already a prepaid customer, keep your eyes open for improvements to your carrier's plans as not all changes are automatically offered to existing customers, however, calling in and requesting the change is usually permitted.

AT&T's GoPhone Launches 4G LTE Tablet Plans
Wireless Week

GoPhone launched no contract plans for tablet users:  $15 for 250MB, $30 for 3GB, and $50 for 5GB.  You'll need an unlocked compatible device.  While these plans are in the ballpark, they are certainly nothing super competitive worth getting excited about.  That said, carriers usually launch new data plans fairly conservatively, and subsequently seek to lower prices as they get a better feel for customer usage patterns.  In addition, AT&T will always be sensitive to postpaid cannibalization.

What's New At

Added Straight Talk Mobile Hotspot to Best MiFi Plans

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