Over the past few years, wireless plans and mobile device purchasing options have become increasingly competitive and not only with regard to the more common postpaid plans, but with prepaid plans as well. Boost Mobile recently introduced a promotion that offered users free smartphones on the spot when moving to Boost from another carrier. The promotion was limited to one of five different models, and those wishing to purchase a different device when switching could instead receive a $50 discount on the cost of the device.
It appears that this offer may have been a bit too ambitious as it is currently being reported that Boost Mobile is now removing the option to receive a free smartphone. The $50 discount is still available, but is now only valid with five devices – the Kyocera Hydro Reach, LG Tribute 5, Alcatel Dawn, LG K3 and Alcatel OneTouch Conquest. The discount is not immediate, but rather comes in the form of a $50 bill credit that will be applied to the user's account after they have completed two months of service. This is likely a measure meant to ensure that customers won't buy the phones just for their low prices, and then immediately discontinue the service. The company appears to be focusing less on providing inexpensive devices and more on offering monthly plans with good values. Unlimited Unhook'd which is similar to the T-Mobile ONE plan offers unlimited text, talk, and LTE data, with the provision that some forms of data-heavy media streaming are limited in quality. Unlimited Unhook'd, however, costs $20 less for individuals than T-Mobile's plan. Meanwhile, Boost's prepaid competitors continue to offer similar free device promotions, with MetroPCS and Cricket both offering free smartphones to those switching from other services, and the latter offering to waive activation fees as well.
Just a few short years ago, most wireless service plans included device subsidies with 2-year contracts, making prepaid the obvious option for those not ready to commit to a wireless carrier. But in recent times, most major carriers have done away with contracts, and many offer unlimited data options as well, so prepaid carriers have to continue to find ways to offer their customers more value to remain competitive. Although Boost is removing the option for a free device, their monthly plans still provide good value, and could be a smart choice for those looking to save a bit of money.