Yahoo Mobile, one of Verizon’s prepaid brands, introduced its first-ever smartphone designed specifically with the Yahoo brand in mind, the Yahoo Mobile ZTE Blade A3Y.
The purple phone sells for $50 and builds on Verizon Media’s launch of the Yahoo Mobile brand this past March.
The phone runs on the Android 10 operating system and comes equipped with a bevy of Yahoo apps, including ad-free Yahoo Mail, as well as Yahoo News, Sports, Finance and Weather. And even though Yahoo comes to mind as one of the early names in the search business, the Google search bar sits prominently above the Yahoo apps.
According to Verizon, the Yahoo Mobile smartphone is geared toward first-time phone owners and value-conscious buyers – consumers who prioritize efficiency, value and ease-of-use. Yahoo Mobile service plans go for $40 a month with no contract.
“Based on audience research, we’ve seen strong interest from Millennials and Gen Z, as well as demand from our existing user base for this type of offering, and expect this to make up a significant portion of our customer base,” said Tenni Theurer, vice president of Product Management at Verizon Media, via email.
The phone is part of the evolution of Yahoo Mobile, according to Theurer. “Yahoo has experienced strong growth on mobile so this makes sense in terms of offering a one-stop shop of content and connectivity,” she said.
In the month of September alone, Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, and Yahoo Finance have all experienced double digit year-over-year increases of mobile visitors by 64%, 28% and 64% respectively, “which is why we continue to innovate and bring new products to market - like Yahoo Sports’ recent ‘Watch Together’ launch,” Theurer said. “Now all of Yahoo’s products will be housed on one device for an ultimate Yahoo experience for users.”
Consumers can also buy the Yahoo Mobile service with the latest iPhone 12 and 12 Pro through the online store; the iPhone Pro Max and 12 Mini will be available in November. Later this year, Verizon’s nationwide 5G network will be included in all Yahoo Mobile plans and compatible devices.
Verizon is making a much bigger push into prepaid, a sector it historically pretty much avoided. While it has the Verizon, Yahoo Mobile and digitally-focused Visible brands, Verizon in September announced plans to acquire the biggest reseller of prepaid, Tracfone Wireless, from América Móvil in a deal worth up to $6.9 billion. Tracfone has several prepaid bands, including Straight Talk, and around 21 million subscribers.