Sprint Nextel's (NYSE:S) Boost Mobile prepaid brand launched its first CDMA smartphone running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, marking another chapter in Sprint's efforts to push smartphones to prepaid and migrate prepaid subscribers to its CDMA network.
Boost will launch the Samsung Galaxy Prevail, a mid-range version of Samsung's higher-end Galaxy S line of smartphones. Boost will launch the gadget for $179.99 sometime in late April, and said that it will be available in select retail outlets nationwide by mid-May.
The Galaxy Prevail runs Android 2.2 and has a 3.2-inch screen and 2-megapixel camera. Unlike higher-end versions of the Galaxy line, the Prevail does not have a Super AMOLED screen or the ability to capture HD video. The phone represents Boost's response to recent Android smartphone launches by Boost's flat-rate rivals Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) and MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS).
The main feature of the phone may in fact be Boost's rate plans. Last fall, Sprint said that for every six months Boost customers make on-time payments, it will shave $5 off their monthly bill. Thus, customers on Boost's $50 monthly prepaid unlimited plan could wind up paying $35 per month after 18 months.
Sprint has been trying to add more and more smartphones to its Boost and Virgin Mobile prepaid brands in a bid to attract higher ARPU subscribers. Sprint also has made no secret of its desire to migrate prepaid iDEN subscribers to its CDMA network as its moves to shut down iDEN starting in 2013. Boost previously offered an iDEN Android phone, the i1 from Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI).
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