Okay, long title, but it's true. Take a look at Boost Mobile's latest website. There's the Boost Unlimited side that is growing in features and service areas...and phones, with the Motorola c290 and w385 being supported, but that's CDMA and isn't articularly "prepaid" as most people see it. Hmm, that's a post for UnlimitedCellular.info...
Whereas on the iDEN side of Boost Mobile, where walkie talkie and (sorta) GPS set the brand apart from the herd, is making a quicker and quicker fade; they're down to two phones, one of which has been around for...correct me if I'm wrong...long enough that if you got the Nextel version of this guy you'd be eligible now for either a full-blown upgrade or terminating your service. While the other model, the multi-colored i425, is nice and new, things look bad for Boost. I mean, they used to carry phones that were just as high-end as those on Nextel (case in oint: i885, i875, i860). Now...practically nothing. While Boost gets points for uniqueness in haing the thinnest iDEN phone out there on its service, and that for a mere $40, they lose them back when you consider that, on both GSM and now CDMA sides, the highest-end phone is a bit of a cheap trick: just your average camera phone with Bluetooth built in. Now Motorola makes decent phones, but if you don't need Bluetooth the Kyocera Cyclops is a higher-end phone, and if you do need it the candy bar Super Slice is everything but the flip...at half the price
Come on guys, we know you're dying to get everyone off your old iDEN network, but making the phones available with your prepaid option as lousy, or nearly so, as every other CDMA-based prepaid isn't the way to do it, considering that y'all are bleeding customers faster than you're picking up new ones (full disclosure: I use and love Sprint...don't get me wrong and think I'm some insane T-Mobile, AT*T or Alltel fanatic).
How about unifying your product line with the hybrid phones we already see on the contract side of the fence, and offer all current plans and features on the four hybrid phone models that, though none are bar phones, otherwise run the gamut from minimalistic to maximized? And sell them on the prepaid service for the price you'd get 'em for with a 1-year contract. And bump up the price if we're dealing with the unlimited service? You know, sell the now-discontinued Blend phone for a mere $50, the Buzz for $120, the Buzz+ cameraphone for $200 and the Deluxe for $400? And a bit more for unlimited? I dunno, just throwing ideas out there. Why are iDEN phones so darn expensive on-contrct anyway? You can get a Boost i855 for cheaper than a Nextel i850, And a i425 cheaper than the Nextel rough equivalent, the i325. Maybe Boost should continue the tradition with hybrid phones (aka PowerSource) priced equal or less than their plan-bound equivalents?
I probably hate the iDEN network more than Sprint does...but hopefully Boost Mobile doesn't have to get killed in the process of moving out of iDEN. Heck, I could even see them just trying to sell out of their stock of i855s, then i425s, in a transition to all-CDMA unlimited service (bad) or hybrid prepaid\hybrid\unlimited serice (good). But we'll see...let's just hope the chirp doesn't die on preaid before QChat comes out and takes everyone by storm.