Oct 01 AT 1:00 PM Taylor Wimberly 20 Comments

AT&T launches new “affordable” pre-paid smartphone plan, cost more than everyone but Verizon


Today AT&T announced they were lowering the price of their GoPhone pre-paid smartphone plan to $65. This new rate plan includes unlimited minutes, unlimited text, and 1 GB of data. AT&T claims this new rate plan is affordable, but that’s only when you compare it to Verizon.

“As more of our prepaid customers choose smartphones, we wanted to offer them a rate plan that meets their needs while still being an excellent value,” said Judy Cavalieri, vice president — Voice and Prepaid Products, AT&T.  “We’re excited to offer this new option to our growing base of smartphone customers to give them a better smartphone experience while keeping their budget in check.”

Most pre-paid smartphone plans run in the neighborhood of $50 for “unlimited” everything, but they can be found for as low as $30 if you are willing to get less minutes. AT&T’s new GoPhone rate plan is a move in the right direction, but it is not competitive with other pre-paid offerings.

Current pre-paid smartphone plans include:

  • T-Mobile Monthly 4G: $30 for 100 mins, unlimited text, and 5 GB data
  • Straight Talk SIM: $45 for unlimited mins, unlimited text, and “unlimited” data
  • Solavei: $49 for unlimited mins, unlimited text, and 4 GB data
  • Simple Mobile: $50 for unlimited mins, unlimited text, and “unlimited” data
  • T-Mobile Monthly 4G: $60 for unlimited mins, unlimited text, and 2 GB data
  • AT&T: $65 for unlimited mins, unlimited text, and 1 GB data
  • Verizon: $80 for unlimited mins, unlimited text, and 1 GB data

I finally made the jump to pre-paid smartphone plans this year after I grew tired of carrier locked phones. I’ve been using unlocked Android phones on Straight Talk SIM and Solavei, and I don’t see any scenario that will entice me to sign a contract again.

If you like saving money and you want the next Nexus phone, this might be the time to shred your contract and move to pre-paid. We expect Google will offer the next Nexus as an unlocked GSM device, and it will pair nicely with a pre-paid plan. As we outlined in our recent buyers guide, unlocked phones are not for everyone, so research your decision before making any moves.

Source: AT&T

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

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    That is ridiculous! AT&T execs really are smoking something. And I want some of it!

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      At least they offer pre-paid smartphone plans. If AT&T drops the price another $20 then maybe some people will sign up for it.

      • bb

        I just took out the sim of the dumb phones they have and popped it into my smartphone and buy the data package each month.

      • LukeT32

        But your still on AT&T. Out here in Iowa the only carriers with any real coverage are VZW and US Cellular. I think most of the Midwest is that way.

  • M0nk

    I guess that LTE is the wildcard that the carriers have against “pre-paid”. They will not allow pre-paid to access LTE network, even with regulation demanding the contrary on some frequencies.
    On the other side, HSDPA+ is good enough for most smartphone users.
    I hope that the rumors about 5 different Nexus devices are true and we can choose the best Nexus for us (A High End device).

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I think we will see pre-paid plans with 4G LTE in 2013.

      • yankeesusa

        On straight talk is it gsm? My friend needs an unlocked iphone that he can swap sim card when he goes out of country.

        • yankeesusa

          Nevermind, just saw the comments below. Straight talk does look enticing.

  • Bpear96

    The best part.. Straight Talk sim runs on at&ts network (or T-mobile if you chose) and its $45 vs $60

    • Derek

      Yep, everyone in my family is on Straight Talk Sims from ATT; $45/month. I get a free phone through work.

      • thel0nerang3r

        What kind of speeds are you getting with Straight Talk? Do you get the same speed as people that are under ATT contract? I haven’t been able to find that info, some people have said that speed test applications are blocked. This is from reading forums, can’t vouch for vailidity.

  • Derek

    I cannot believe Verizon is charging $80 for prepaid. That’s insane. But of course, the cheapest Verizon plan is now $90 for their new shared everything with 1GB data. And if you want a decent amount of data its going to be $110 plus taxes and fees, so about $120. That’s ridiculous. That’s more than I pay for cable and roadrunner internet at home. Verizon/ATT are just greedy bastards.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

    May be what Google needs to do is to reverse how subsidization works — instead of having the carrier subsidizing our phones, how about Google subsidizing the phone plan? I mean, look at that T-mobile $30 plan. Google can easily team up with T-mobile and bundle this together with their next Nexus, offering buyer the plan at an even lower monthly fee (say, $25) and hoping to recoup the cost from subsequent Play Store purchases.

  • alexanderharri3

    $60 = budget does not compute….1GB of data too?!?! Yeah…….there’s a reason that other prepaid carriers (ie sprint and t-mobile resellers) are budget…because they are cheap

  • Ardrid

    I’ll give them credit for at least recognizing the market and making an effort. Shave $15-20 off the price and it would be in the conversation. As is, though, T-Mobile and Pocket Red are my present choices (too much uncertainty with Straight Talk’s “unlimited” data).

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    I pay 70$ for tmo. They also gave me a free month while in prepaid, T-Mobile is the best when it comes to prepaid.

  • Nathan D.

    Dam, I think att don’t get the concept of affordable plans to much. They need to re look at these plans.

  • jason

    not only is it more expensive, but unless they changed, they only offer specific, lower quality phones.

    also stop referring to plans like straight talk as unlimited when they cut you off at 2gb and dont let you stream music or video

  • BigCiX

    At&t executives are smoking some good sh*t!

  • http://daniel.friesen.name dantman

    Those are the kind of plans you guys have in the US?

    I’m on Wind up in Canada on the Unbreakable40 deal… $40/mo; Canada-wide unlimited incoming and outgoing minutes. Unlimited US long-distance. Unlimited incoming/outgoing text worldwide. Unlimited CA/US in/out picture messaging. “Unlimited” data (throttled after 5GB), no tethering restrictions. And Caller ID, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Call Hold, Call Conferencing, Missed Call Alerts, and Voicemail are included.

    The only downside would be the coverage if you started travelling.