Sprint's prepaid brands announced the launch of their cheapest smartphone of the year. Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA unveiled the Alcatel Dawn, an LTE handset running Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and sporting a $70 price tag.
T-Mobile is targeting families with two new promotions from its MetroPCS business as competition in the prepaid market continues to heat up.
Verizon currently does not support Apple's Wi-Fi calling technology that allows users to make and receive Wi-Fi calls on other iCloud-connected devices like iPads and the Apple Watch. And Sprint's Boost and Virgin prepaid brands still don't support any of the Wi-Fi calling technology Apple introduced two years ago through its iOS 8 operating system.
Boost Mobile users are far more likely to carry cheaper Android devices than Verizon customers do, as you'd expect: Boost is a prepaid brand of Sprint, after all, while Verizon is generally regarded as the most expensive major U.S. carrier and focuses on the more lucrative postpaid market.
Prepaid customers have long been almost an afterthought for most major U.S. network operators, who have opted instead to focus on postpaid users who often generate higher ARPU and lower churn. But as the growth of smartphone sales slows-- and as the gap between prepaid and postpaid ARPU narrows-- carriers are increasingly focused on the prepaid segment.
Sprint is rapidly losing prepaid customers, and its self-branded prepaid phones are disappearing from retail stores as the carrier prepares to relaunch its Virgin Mobile brand in an effort to boost sales in that market.
Sprint is hoping to poach customers of its three larger rivals with a new promotion through its Boost Mobile business.
As promised, Sprint said it is updating its approach to its Virgin Mobile prepaid brand by offering updated pricing options and discontinuing two sub-brands-- PayLo and Broadband2Go-- that were offered through Virgin.
Sprint yesterday said that it is de-emphasizing its Virgin Mobile prepaid brand and may introduce a new strategy for the Virgin brand at some point in the future. The news highlights Sprint's continued struggles in the prepaid sector, mainly due to the successes that T-Mobile's MetroPCS prepaid brand and AT&T's Cricket Wireless prepaid brand have had in the market.
Sprint continues to follow T-Mobile's lead in streaming music, expanding its data-free unlimited service from its Virgin prepaid brand to its Boost Mobile prepaid business.