Verizon to sell smart phones for prepaid service

September 2, 2010 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Verizon Wireless on Thursday announced it's opening up access to smart phones for customers who prepay for service, such as people with poor credit and those who don't want to be tied down by long-term contracts.

Prepaid service has long been the domain of low-end phones, but such companies as Corp. and Leap Wireless International Inc. have recently introduced smart phones for their Boost, Virgin Mobile and Cricket brands.

Wireless, the country's largest cellular carrier, said that it started to sell smart phones for in its stores on Thursday and will start selling them online on Sept. 28.

The phones will be more expensive than those offered to customers on regular "postpaid" plans, usually associated with two-year contracts. For example, Verizon charges a prepaying customer $215 for a BlackBerry Curve 8530. It's available for $20 with a two-year contract. A Motorola Droid X, which has a big touch screen, costs $395 for prepaid service and $200 with a contract.

Like other carriers, Verizon discounts the price of phones with two-year contracts, figuring that it will make back the discount in monthly service fees. With prepaid service, the customer can cancel at any time.

Verizon is also introducing a data plan with unlimited access for $30 per month, the same price customers under contract pay.

The data plan won't be mandatory, but to get it, customers will have to get a monthly prepaid calling plan. These start at $45 for 450 minutes of calling, with no text messages included. They cost $5 per month more than equivalent contract-based plans.

Prepaid service is seen as one of the remaining growth areas for , because people who have good credit all have phones already.

AT&T Inc., the second-largest carrier and Verizon's chief competitor, doesn't sell for prepaid service, and it doesn't offer a monthly prepaid data plan. However, customers with good credit can buy phones at an unsubsidized price roughly $400 above the contract price and go month-to-month on postpaid plans, without a contract.

is a joint venture of New York-based Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC of Britain.

Explore further: Wal-Mart to sell Verizon prepaid wireless

0 shares

Related Stories

Wal-Mart to sell Verizon prepaid wireless

March 10, 2006

Verizon Wireless further entrenched itself in the battle for prepaid wireless phone customers Thursday, announcing that their INpulse pay-as-you-go service is now available at all U.S. Wal-Mart stores.

Cut-rate prepaid plans shake up wireless industry

April 20, 2009

(AP) -- As wireless carriers start reporting first-quarter results this week, investors will be looking at the effects of some spectacular price cuts for prepaid cell phone service.

Tracfone tests cheap unlimited plan on Verizon

July 15, 2009

(AP) -- Tracfone Wireless, the country's largest provider of "prepaid" cell phones, is quietly testing a new service that appears to be a response to the fierce price competition in the prepaid market.

Sprint overhauls Virgin Mobile, includes data

May 6, 2010

(AP) -- Sprint Nextel Corp. is revamping Virgin Mobile, the prepaid wireless service it bought last year, and making it focus on inexpensive plans for young people who would rather text or send Facebook messages than talk.

Wireless users opt for service without commitment

May 14, 2010

(AP) -- For wireless subscribers, commitment is out and short-term relationships are in. This year, customers have been making a big shift away from two-year contracts toward "prepaid" cell phone service, which often costs ...

Recommended for you

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.