including ours indicated that it would be an Android phone for $80 and that it would be released this week. The week is almost over and there's been no further news. I've been digging around and found a couple of interesting bits of information.
Seeking Alpha has published a transcript of the Verizon conference call where the $80 thing was mentioned and what Verizon CFO Francis Shammo actually said was:
"And in the next week or so, you're going to see us add in a smartphone to our prepaid product on an $80 price point with 1 gigabit of data."
That's sufficiently ambiguous that it could mean either an $80 phone or an $80 plan, or both. Today a HowardForums user reported that a Verizon customer service representative told him that it was an $80/month plan launching May 1st. The plan would include unlimited voice and messaging and 1 GB of data. The only phones allowed on this new plan would be the Motorola Citrus and the Samsung Illusion (shown above L to R). The CSR didn't know the phone prices. The details match an earlier rumor so I tend to believe this is the real deal.
The Citrus gets universally bad reviews and should be avoided. If there's an $80 phone, the Citrus would be it. The Illusion, which is a good low-mid range Android phone with a decent screen, 1 Mhz processor and so-so camera, is a better choice.
The $80 price point seems high in comparison with what other carriers offer but it's right in line with Verizon's other prepaid unlimited plans:
- $50 "Unleashed" unleashed everything plan that's restricted to a few very basic phones.
- $74.99 Prepaid smartphone plan which comes with unlimited data, 450 minutes and 20¢ texts and works with any Verizon non-LTE phone, except the iPhone.
- $94.99 plan that's the same as the $74.99 one with the addition of unlimited messaging.
Sources: Seeking Alpha, HowardForums