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More Details of Verizon's $80 Android Deal Emerge

It's been a week since a top Verizon exec revealed that the carrier would launch a prepaid Android "something" soon. Most initial reports, 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.
I'm sure the Verizon name and retail presence will help to sell a fair number of $80 plans. But Prepaid Phone News readers know then can get the same 1 GB of data, unlimited voice and messaging on the Verizon network for $55/month with PagePlus or 2 GB with unlimited talk and text for $60 on RedPocket or Jolt or $45 on StraightTalk. See The Best US Prepaid Data Deals for more options.

Sources: Seeking Alpha, HowardForums


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