AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) is jumping into the prepaid smartphone market by partnering with LG to bring an Android smartphone to the carrier's GoPhone prepaid brand.
AT&T said it will launch the LG Thrive for $179.99 on April 17 for its GoPhone prepaid customers. The carrier also will launch a postpaid version of the gadget, dubbed the LG Phoenix, for $49.99--a price that coincides with a required two-year contract.
In addition to the new phones, AT&T also updated its GoPhone data plans for customers who choose its $2-per-day unlimited talk and text plan or 10-cent-per-minute plan.
The new data options are:
--$25 for 500 MB
--$5 for 10 MB (which was previously $5 for 1 MB)
--$15 for 100 MB (previously $19.99)
The LG Thrive runs version 2.2 of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform and sports a 3.2-inch screen, 600 MHz processor, Wi-Fi and a 3.2-megapixel camera. The Phoenix is similar but also supports mobile hotspot and tethering features.
AT&T is the latest carrier to bring smartphones to prepaid subscribers. Sprint Nextel's (NYSE:S) Boost Mobile prepaid brand recently launched its first CDMA Android smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Prevail.
Such prepaid smartphone launches put pressure on flat-rate carriers MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS) and Cricket provider Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP), which began increasing the number of smartphones in their lineups last fall. Both flat-rate providers intend to make smartphones a centerpiece of their offerings this year.
- see this release
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