I want prepaid smartphones now! The reality is that
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
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.
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
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!
Why Did Prepaid
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
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
the benefit of contracts and handset Subsidies,
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
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
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
plan, click over to Best
to learn what features you might want to consider
as you make your selection. Also feel free to learn more
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