Verizon: $50 unlimited prepaid real, smartphones likely out

Verizon confirms prepaid all-in deal

Verizon on Tuesday confirmed intentions to take its $50 unlimited prepaid plan national this week. As of Thursday, prepaid customers will get unlimited voice, text, and data. New phone picks will be limited to basic phones like the LG Cosmos, Pantech Caper, and those from Samsung.

Smartphones aren't likely to be included in the near future as Verizon tries to steer those customers towards more expensive plans.

The prepaid option is an acknowledgement that competition is intensifying from Sprint and its sub-brands like Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, along with smaller carriers like Cricket and MetroPCS. A toughened economy and overall better deals have given these companies relative success even in a market where smartphones are taking over.

Virgin has often been considered one of the most successful in its category, in part for its willingness to carry smartphones and risk cannibalizing Sprint. It now even has reasonably advanced Android hardware like the Motorola Triumph where Verizon is intentionally limiting its reach.

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