On Tuesday AT&T officially announced that its customers can now sign up for a $50 unlimited GoPhone plan that includes unlimited text, talk, and web for $50 per month. AT&T’s GoPhone option does not require a contract and it also allows customers to text Mexico, Canada, and 100 other countries at no additional cost. AT&T’s new pricing is a considerable drop from the original $60 per month GoPhone option, which just provided unlimited talk and text.Read on for the full release. More →
Sprint and Walmart have announced they’ve banded together to launch a brand new, low-cost carrier…say hello to Common Cents Mobile. Service will be lit up on May 15th and the carrier will be featured –exclusively — in over 700 Walmarts across the country. Minutes are billed at 7¢ a pop, but thanks to “Round Down” billing, a “minute” can last up to 119 seconds. This allows the $20 refill to be good for up to 565 minutes and the $30 up to 848 minutes. Nifty. Also coming in at 7¢ each are text messages, although there is an option for a $20 unlimited messaging package. Data will be available for $1 per megabyte per day. Being a no-frills carrier, Common Cents doesn’t offer a lavish line-up of handsets, but what it does carry is very affordable. The cheapest most affordable of the pack is LG 101 which sells for $19.77, followed closely by the Samsung M340 at $39.77. The most expensive handset is the Kyocera S2300, which has a full-QWERTY keypad, and retails for $69.77. Minute refills can be purchased at select Walmart stores; alternatively, Common Cents subscribers can register their credit card, debit card, or PayPal information at CommonCentsMobile.com to get more minutes.
Catch the press spiel after the break. More →
Virgin Mobile fired shots across the bow of its pre-paid competition this morning as it officially launched the Beyond Talk plans that we told you about just under a week ago. Starting at $25, the main selling point of the Beyond Talk service offerings is that they all feature unlimited text, email, data and web. The reason for the difference in price between the plans is the number of minutes you get. The $25 and $40 plans are good for 300 and 1,200 minutes respectively, while the $60 plan offers unlimited voice. For an extra $10, you can add BlackBerry data. Of course you won’t be able to use a BlackBerry on Virgin until the end of this month when it launches the Curve 8530 for $299.99, but the prospect of a pre-paid BlackBerry plan for $35 is worth waiting a few weeks for, right? More →
Some huge news this evening in the world of prepaid mobiles as Sprint has announced its new strategies for Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. With some 60 million Americans using prepaid mobiles, Sprint feels the time is right to make an all-out assault on the market. Said Sprint’s Dan Schulman: “This is the year that prepaid moves to the forefront of the wireless industry. In the first quarter of 2010, more than half of the mobile gross additions in the U.S. selected prepaid, and we predict that approximately 70% of the net adds in 2010 will choose plans without a contract,” adding that “the no-contract market has clearly moved beyond the credit-challenged and lower income segments.” Here’s what’s in the pipeline.
As of May 12th, Virgin Mobile will begin offering Beyond Talk plans. Ranging from $25 to $60 per month, each plan includes unlimited SMS/MMS, email, data and web. The $25 plan includes 300 minutes, the $40 plan 1,200 minutes and the $60 plan has unlimited minutes. Throw in an extra $10 per month and you’ll be able to hook a BlackBerry up to BIS. Yes, you read that right. $35 for a BlackBerry with unlimited data. If you’re a bit puzzled as to why Virgin is more focused on data and texts over voice minutes, the reason is simple: the amount of voice minutes used by young adults continues to plummet as email, IM and SMS grows at a rate of 150% during the years 2007 to 2009. Factor in 1800% growth in mobile data in this segment and it’s pretty obvious Virgin is one of the few companies that actually caters to the demands of its customers. This brings us to its new handsets. Virgin Mobile will be bringing the LG Rumor Touch and Rumor 2 ($149.99 and $89.99, both only available off contract), and Kyocera Loft ($69.99) into the fold with the BlackBerry Curve 8530 launching at the end of May with a retail price of $299.99.
As for Boost, not much is new in terms of plans (keep in mind it just announced that unlimited calls to 411, email and IM were recently added to its $50 unlimited plan which also includes all the talking, texting and web you wish), but now we know for sure that it will soon be carrying the Samsung Rant and Kyocera Incognito, Mirror and Juno.
Hit up the jump to check out the press release. More →
Apparently AT&T wasn’t the only one who started selling iPhone 3G’s off of contract yesterday as Apple has kicked off a similar sales practice in its retail stores across the US. With the 8GB model selling for $599 and both of the 16GB models selling for $699, apparently anyone can walk in and snag an iPhone 3G — unlike AT&T’s contract-free iPhone offerings, an existing AT&T contract is not necessary. This changes to Apple’s strict policy is yet another indicator that a new iPhone is definitely on its way to market. WWDC 2009, we can’t wait until you arrive.