Verizon Wireless effectively cut the price of its high-end prepaid smartphone plan from $80 to $70, bringing its prepaid pricing closer to rival AT&T Mobility. However, Verizon's prepaid services are still much more expensive than those from many traditional prepaid and flat-rate players.
Tier 2 U.S. carriers said they are uncommitted as of now to Research In Motion's BlackBerry 10 platform.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said he liked the approach T-Mobile USA is taking by removing handset subsidies from its plans, and said he would watch the development with interest.
Sprint Nextel's prepaid brand Virgin Mobile and regional wireless carrier C Spire Wireless have been quietly testing handset financing programs, the carriers confirmed. Both operators are using the startup BillFloat to support their pilot programs, which are ongoing but expected to end within the next few weeks. The disclosures come a month after FierceWireless reported that Leap Wireless' Cricket and MetroPCS both recently launched handset financing options.
Verizon Wireless is expected to lead U.S. wireless carriers in terms of net subscriber additions in the fourth quarter, according to analysts' estimates. However, all operators, including Verizon, will likely see their margins come under pressure as a result of higher subsidy costs for smartphones.
LAS VEGAS--Microsoft thinks it's very important to bring its Windows Phone 8 platform to tier 1 U.S. carriers, a strategy that helped Google's Android platform gain significant market share, according to a Windows Phone executive.
No-contract carrier Leap Wireless is taking a hard look at its basic business model--from service activation to device financing--as it works to better accommodate customer adoption of more sophisticated smartphones, according to Doug Hutcheson, president and CEO.
Leap Wireless and MetroPCS both recently launched handset financing options that will allow eligible customers to make a down payment on a smartphone and pay off the remainder in the future. The programs are geared toward helping the prepaid carriers' customers afford high-end smartphones, which the carriers do not subsidize and can cost as much as $500 upfront.
The likes of MetroPCS and Sprint Nextel prepaid brands Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile outhustled Tier 1 carriers in signing up prepaid smartphone customers in the third quarter, according to a new report from research firm NPD Group.
Cricket provider Leap Wireless launched LTE service in eight more markets and released its first two LTE smartphones and a new rate plan as part of a bid to bulk up its nascent LTE network. The company also revealed a management shakeup that moved CFO Jerry Elliott to the role of president and COO.