Verizon has updated its support list for the $80 monthly prepaid smartphone plan which launched with the Samsung Illusion and now includes support for the following smartphones:
- BlackBerry: 8330, 8530, 9330, 9370, 9530, 9630, 9850, 9930, Storm, Storm 2, Torch.
- Palm: Pre Plus, Pre 2, Pre 3, Pixi Plus
- Android: Motorola’s Droid 2, Droid X, Droid 2 Global, Droid R2D2, Droid 3 and Droid Pro, Devour, Droid X2 Gb , Droid R2D2, W766
- HTC Merge, Droid Eris, Droid Incredible
- LG Vortex, Ally, Enlighten, Vx8360, Vx 11000 (Env Touch), Env 3, Vx 9200, Vx 8575, Vx 8370
- Nokia 7705
- Casio: G’zOne Commando
- Samsung Gem, Fascinate, Fascinate White, i400, Reality, CHU-940, CHU-750, CHU-810, CHU-960, Continuum
The addition of more supported smartphones to the $80 service plan may be a way for Verizon to clear out remaining stock of slow selling smartphones while making the $80 prepaid plan more appealing by offering a broader choice of devices. The expanded lineup of new smartphones is currently only available for purchase on the prepaid plan through Verizon retail stores and must be specifically requested at the time of purchase.
Verizon is also allowing previously activated models of the above devices with clear serial numbers onto the prepaid plan as a form of BYOD, but has killed off the previous hybrid monthly plans as a result. which mirrored the now discontinued America’s Choice plans with the 450, 900 and unlimited voice plan options with unlimited data access, with the device expansion and BYOD support going into effect as of last week on the 2nd.
It should also be noted that while Verizon has expanded its supported smartphone lineup for the $80 prepaid plan which includes 1GB of data access along with unlimited data access and messaging, the plan only allows for access to Verizon’s native coverage footprint, and other prepaid providers such as StraightTalk offer the same coverage and an increased data limit for nearly half of Verizon’s monthly rate ($45) with either the rebranded Samsung Galaxy Proclaim or the rebranded LG Optimus Zip, both having been recently launched within the past two months.
The other Verizon MVNO in Page Plus is also currently offering double Verizon’s data allotment per month at $55 per month, which also includes unlimited voice and messaging with the advantage of being able to purchase any non-LTE, non-BlackBerry and non-iPhone smartphone to activate on the service with relative ease all the way down to the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi as well as older Windows Mobile 6.x devices as long as the ESNs are clear, with Ebay being a good resource for unsold smartphone inventory. As it stands the only advantage in Verizon’s $80 plan is the included BlackBerry support, which can be had for $20 less on Boost Mobile.
With Verizon expanding its own prepaid smartphone lineup, it may be a matter of time before it decides to add LTE smartphones in a bid to differentiate its prepaid smartphone service and the high monthly rate compared to its competitors may be justified if it does exactly that.
As it currently stands however, the $80 rate for 1GB of monthly data access and native coverage does very little to convince new prepaid customers to sign up for its monthly service, especially when the aforementioned options from StraightTalk and Page Plus offer equivalent service with more data access per month, which is becoming more important to customers over voice calling and total coverage.