Feb 26 AT 4:12 PM Taylor Wimberly 39 Comments

Cricket ready to leap on Android phones

Leap Wireless just reported a wider-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter, but the company announced they will turn to smartphones to grow their subscribers and increase ARPU (average revenue per user). Among the new phones will be a BlackBerry device from Research In Motion as well as a smartphone running Google’s Android platform.

The telecommunications company offers wireless service through its subsidiary Cricket Wireless and just announced a joint venture with South Texas based Pocket Communications. Both carriers offer unlimited talk plans starting around $25 and have unlimited talk plus web starting at $40-45.

This is not the first time a regional carrier has offered Android phones (see Cellular South), but Leap would definitely be the largest. Leap currently offers service across parts of 34 states and has close to 5 million subscribers. They also recently purchased some AWS spectrum that gives them coverage of an estimated 110 million potential customers.

It will be interesting to see how the wireless industry shakes down in 2010. Rumors are flying like crazy about a potential merger between Leap and Metro PCS, their rival.

Metro PCS had a failed effort to acquire Leap in 2007 and they are gearing up for another try. There is also talk that T-Mobile USA Inc. could be looking to buy MetroPCS or Leap.

Regardless of who comes out on top, customers should have access to cheaper data plans for Android phones later this year. Some of these carriers might not have the fastest 3G networks, but a $40-45 unlimited everything plan is mighty tempting.

Source: Fierce Wireless

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Manly Man

    What!!!!!! if this happend android sales will increase dramaticly!

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      It will be nice, but Cricket only has 5 million subs.

      Compare that to AT&T who has 85 million and is about to release five Android phones.

      • Manly Man

        I know but this would make people who was on the fence about going to cricket go to cricket because of android! And some of those millions are going to leave if/when the iphone go somewhere else! smh at those iphone stans!

      • http://jjcopainters.com jose cortes

        YES BUT AT&T THE SERVICE IS REAL BAD NO MATTER HOW MANY MILLIONS OF USERS HAD.

      • http://www.xfinityonline.com/ Neil

        Well, AT&T is going to have even more customers to reach with their T-Mobile agreement they announced back in March. Although, Verizon picked up the I-phone, they have do do some fancy marketing and planning to match up with this new beast.

  • http://Website Gypse Boxten

    I work for Cricket and Cricket is hurting BIG TIME! The rumor of a smart phone has been around for a long time. I wouldn’t hold my breath for it. Cricket is closing down many switches and have canceled over time pay for hourly employees, including buying paper, hand towels ,etc.

    • http://Website Cricket Guy

      and one month to the day you posted that Cricket is adding smart phones, android phones, and is passing boost and t mobile in coverage area.. it’s time to switch buddy….

  • http://Website Shane

    This is what we really need –cheaper plans along with the cheaper phones. $100 a month average for a smartphone now is getting to be annoying. Verizon, At&t, T-mobile and sprint, why dont you follow suit with this unbelievably cheap plan.

    • http://Website cricket sales woman

      well shane… we dont make u sign a contract because when u sign up and pay for the phone its urs… they reason behind the contracct is to do monthly payments on phones and to trap u for 2 years… and since we dont have u guys sign contracts your free to cancel the plan change the plan upgrade the phone for no extra fees like the other companys charge… we are hoping to extend out market areas in the near feature as well which will hopefully get new customers in as well as the new phones… we may not be as big as AT&T or Verizon… just wait… you will see how things happen when no one can afford anyone but us…. we will rule the USA

      • http://Website Lisa

        My boyfriend is looking to upgrade his t-mobile phone. He has the G1 android now and will give it to me when he upgrades. I have been a faithful Cricket service user for almost 9 years now. I want to know if this G1 will work for internet access with Cricket. I tried calling customer service, twice. Both times I spoke to agents who had such a thick accent I didn’t understand what they were telling me at all. I really don’t feel like calling back a third time. Do you know if anyone has been able to use the internet and download free apps with a G1 on Cricket?

        • http://Website Sean

          Nope, TMobile phones will not work on cricket. Sprint phones will however.

  • http://livinginagoogleworld.blogspot.com Jonathan Frederickson

    I’m thinking this is exactly what Cricket needs. How it’ll work, I don’t really know… without contracts, the phones would be insanely expensive… but if they can get the costs down, this could be the best option for smartphone users… at least in my area.

    I’m skeptical about this, but smartphones were the one thing keeping me from switching to Cricket. Android phones, no less!

    • http://Website cricket guy

      prices are coming down on the phones.. changing plans simplifying bolt ons, eliminating most fees. the new phones will be more affordable. plans announced to employees in meeting today in all markets. launch of nationwide coverage, and new plans next week. a golden age of cricket is coming, cricket will now have larger coverage than t mobile and boost.

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  • http://Website CORPUS CHRISTI TEXAS

    ABOUT FUKKIN TIME!!!!

  • http://Website dcnative

    This is definitely a smart business move for leap wireless. Let’s face it. Cricket’s service is for the most part very good compared to other networks such as Boost and T-mobile. With the introduction of a new android phone plus add in a blackberry and later in the year a few more Samsung touch phones and you will easily see an increase in Cricket’s revenue and more and more people switching over to Cricket. The network works just as good as Verizon, which I used to be part of, and with better phones to choose from I’m sure more people will make the switch. Right now the main issue with Cricket is their current cell phones to choose from which in my opinion are really at the bottom of the list compared to other networks in this country. You gotta start somewhere, so why not with Android and Blackberry right?

  • http://Website entr0py

    I’d love to see this happen soon, one of the biggest drawbacks of Cricket is the lack of fancy phones.

    But the biggest obstacle is the price of unlocked smart phones. Seriously the Nexus One is selling for nearly $700 on Amazon. You end up paying more than that for a bundled phone (figuring in outrageous service fees). But still, either option seems like you’re getting screwed.

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  • http://Website Miser

    Cricket is gonna have to merge or be bought by someone sooner or later. They have a bad reputation for customer service. People don’t trust their network quality or name. A major player like Sprint is going after prepaid customers with a vengeance. Today I can buy a Blackberry ($199) with Boost and it’s $60 bucks a month unlimited everything. With Virgin Mobile (Blackberry for $299) it’s $50 bucks a month for 1200 talk minutes everything else unlimited or $60 for unlimited talk & everything else like Boost. And the phones work everywhere without additional fees unlike Cricket. When iPhone is untied from AT&T it’ll be available to prepaid users on other networks sooner or later. Why get locked into a contract when I can get comparable service for much less. Plus, Cricket phones aren’t cheap. I might as well buy a Blackberry from Boost or Virgin and use on Sprint’s network.

    • http://Website john

      cricket is now nation wide so there is no more extra charges

    • http://Website bschran

      Honestly if you know the right people you can have the blackberry from boost or virgin flashed over to cricket if your so inclined… or if you have the know how you can do it yourself. As far as the android phones are concerned… check ebay you can find preflashed phones for about what you would pay for the Virgin Mobile cost of a blackberry

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  • http://Website Chewy

    Does anyone know when exactly as to what dates they will be releasing the new phones? I would truly love to see what the droid will look like for Cricket. Would be nice to have a full fledged phone that actually belongs to cricket instead of having a flashed phone that belonged to another carrier.

    Thanks in advance!

  • http://Website fred g mertz

    cricket store clerk in pittsburgh told me to look for the new phones, including the blackberry curve, in september.

    • http://www.splitshot.co.nr supersize

      they lied to you, the cricket store near century 3 mall told me it would be like 2 weeks, the cricket store in belle vernon said itll be a few days. just keep calling and looking, its not going to be that long of a wait for the pittsburgh area.

  • http://Website BullCráp

    I was told Bye a Representative at cricket new phone service customer service line that the new droid should be out near the end of august or the around the first part of September! I cant wait now i actually feel right about going back to cricket.

  • http://Website cheap android boy

    Just got my android ZIO and my friend got a 8530 blackberry… damn these plans are cheap and everything works great… hope it all stays that way

  • http://Website bradley

    im getting that andriod phone for my bday which is 4 weeks from now im so excited!(:

  • http://Website Luis orland park, IL

    Cricket is moving in a possitive direction and kicking butt the whole way. No contract No credit check No Problem. The BB8530 rocks the Zio rocks and I can’t Keep them in my store. Never have a customer that I cant satisfy and Its a great Place to work. If your in IL call me and I will help with all your Cricket needs if your my customer or not I will help you. Dont call cricket customer service line they dont speak english. I speak English well and can help with all your cricket needs. 708-323-2757 Call Ask for Luis

  • http://ebay billie

    i am currently on eBay right now looking at androids. Honestly I am 23 years old, I have 5 kids who are all under 7 years old. You would think that i might stay up dated with the latest fashion on everything but i am not. I bought me a prepaid cricket phone in Ohio at walmart. the phone was 20 dollars, and 35 a month unlimited talk and text. I have been wanting to get with cricket for along time sense they became nation wide. The only problem was I live in the sticks of ky. Literally I live on wolf ridge. Crazy but we don’t get alot of phone company’s down here. I was scared to actually buy the phone with cricket. because when i called, I spoke to a Indian woman, and she started talking about coverage here, there, that i was in the 2nd phase which meant roaming, but i was still covered, just alot thrown at me at once. She jumped from one topic to another. The problem was living in the hills we have rode’s that are literally in the mountains, You know rocks on both sides, where they blew out a mountain to put a road in. Well every time you drive by one of them you loose service. I didn’t like the company’s around here because it was so costly. At &t, bluegrass cellular, net 10, and tracfone are the only company’s that do have service. But with all driving in the mountains or in the hallers, you loose service. I took my phone home with me, very few places did i loose signal or go into roaming. With the Exception of T.N., I went there today and it did not work. Its great because even when i am in roaming or i have no bars of service, it still worked. I have taken my phone to a few places that i know that the other phone company’s do not work, But Cricket did. I was amazed and I love my phone. There was one problem with it. It gave me a number for Lexington because the forginer that set up my account could not find my zip code, which i know Richmond was the closet place for service. But I live on the TN and KY Boarder. So my question to you would be, WHAT IS A ANDROID, Does cricket have them, are they any good? and for all these smart people on here. What would it take to get a store located down here, heck I even got land if they want a tower out here. Do they run off of some other towers, such as Verizon, sprint, att? Honestly I know that cricket would boom in business here. I am in college right now, but if i had the opportunity or someone told me how to go about setting up a cricket store hear, I would do it in a heart beat. Any Help there?
    billie3809@ymail.com

  • http://www.tgunsight.com Jun

    I’ve never really heard much about Cricket; they’ve always seemed like the quiet voice in the room. But I’m glad they are finally stepping up to pursue something they want.

  • http://Website Richard

    i joined cricket bec0z of payments are alot cheaper than verizon and at&t and T-Mobile And Sprint And others phone compnaies to….They All Good But Cricket Is Alot better For me be0c0z of PRICE…. VERIZON AT&T And others They are good but i CANT AFFORD IT to many hassles And It Is Exspensive for me to buy And Verizon And Sprint At&t And All other cell Phones Companies CCAANN have All Thee BEST Beautiful PHONES Than Cricket And I Willl NNNEEEVVVEERRRR Switch To Any cell Phones companies Never And I Am Staying Cricket..I dont care About How Fancy Thee f0ckin Phone Is Ok And You can Flash All Thee f0ckin Phones You Want And That Will Not make me To Join Any Phone Companies No MATTER What It Is..I Am Keeping Cricket And I Hope Cricket WON’T Die On me No F0ckin Way I Will f0ckin Piss 0ff If It Did I Dont Care About VERIZON aND AT&T,SPRINT And Others To they dont MEAN JACK shet 2ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.cricketscore.org/ Cricket Score

    Thanks for sharing this product information through your blog site.Keep posting more such posts.Thanks again.

  • http://www.buyvonage.com/ vonage

    Please put me on the list for when they will have coverage in my area! I pay $90 becuase I have to have a data plan for my smartphone. It is a relief to know though that their competitive prices will definitely have on affect on these larger carriers prices. Question is: how long is going to take to drive the prices down?

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