Cricket Wireless says the ZTE Grand X 3 is now available online and in Cricket stores for $130. The Grand X 3 includes a 5.5-inch HD screen, Cat. 4 LTE, and a USB Type-C connector, which is reversible. It has 2 GB of RAM and its 16 GB of storage is expandable via a memory card up to 64 GB. The Grand X 3's 8-megapixel camera shoots 720p HD video, and a 2-megapixel selfie camera is located on front. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor and runs Android 5.1 Lollipop. Cricket will knock $50 off the price for customers who switch from another carrier. Further, people who port their number to Cricket will receive a $50 gift card.
Sprint says it has a new strategy in mind for its prepaid brand Virgin Mobile. During a call with analysts today, Sprint execs said the company is de-emphasizing Virgin at the moment in favor of Boost Mobile, and has gone so far as to pull Virgin advertising ahead of a the new strategy's debut. Sprint did not say what it plans to do with Virgin, though it did admit it is not pursuing the pre-paid space as aggressively as rivals Cricket and MetroPCS. "You've got to figure out where do you want to fight and where do you want to grow," said CEO Marcelo Claure. "We are keeping the customers that matter." Claure also took the opportunity to reassure investors and customers that its network improvement plan will not be disruptive. "This is not a rip-and-replace strategy," said Claure, calling the implementation a "progressive build" that will make changes for the better. The company is expected to relocate some cell towers and make greater use of small/macro cells to densify its network. It may also shift some backhaul operations to microwave in order to cut down the fiber carriage fees it pays to AT&T and Verizon. Claure still believes Sprint can become the No. 1 or No. 2 network in terms of absolute performance in 80% of the country's markets within two years.
Cricket Wireless is looking to entice people to switch to its network by offering discounts on a number of smartphones. Beginning January 22, consumers who port their number to Cricket can buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 for $399.99, a savings of $100 over the normal retail price. Cricket is making similar discounts, ranging from $20 to $50, available to a dozen other devices, including the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 ($109.99), ZTE Grand X Max ($99.99), HTC Desire 626s ($89.99), and Microsoft Lumia 640 ($79.99). The promotion runs for a limited time. Cricket's service plans start at $40 per month. Wireless carriers are competing for customers fiercely. With most Americans already carrying a smartphone, the only way for carriers to score new customers is to steal them from rivals.
Cricket Wireless today appointed John Dwyer as president and head of operations. Dwyer replaces Jennifer Van Buskirk, who has moved to another position within Cricket's parent company, AT&T. Dwyer will be responsible for Cricket's day-to-day operations, long-term planning, and strategy. Dwyer previously worked in various sales and marketing positions within AT&T.
The Grand X 3 is part of a growing trend to find new ways to bring premium features and design to mid-range and entry-level phones. The Grand X 3 is an extremely affordable phablet with a plastic body and low-end processor. Yet at the same time, it has the same curved-edge glass front normally found on much higher-end phones, plus an HD display and USB Type-C connector. We spent some time with one.
ZTE today announced the Grand X 3 for Cricket Wireless. It offers a 5.5-inch HD screen and Cat. 4 LTE for just $130. It's also the most affordable phone to date to sport a USB Type-C connector, which is reversible. That connector supports fast charging for the 3,000 mAh removable battery. It has 2 GB of RAM and its 16 GB of storage is expandable via a memory card up to 64 GB. Its 8-megapixel camera shoots 720p HD video, and a 2-megapixel selfie camera graces the front. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor. The Grand X 3 will be available from Cricket later this month.
Kyocera and Cricket Wireless today announced the Hydro View, a waterproof Android smartphone that is similar to the Hydro Air. The View is rated IP57 against water and dust and can sit in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. It features a 5-inch qHD screen with wet finger tracking. The View is powered by a 1.1 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor with 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, and support for memory cards up to 64 GB. The rear camera can capture 5-megapixel images or 1080p HD video. The front camera rates 2 megapixels. Radios include LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, and WiFi with support for mobile hotspot. The Hydro View runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and comes with several of Kyocera's apps and services, such as EcoMode and MaxiMZR to keep the 2160mAh battery up and running. The Kyocera Hydro View will hit Cricket stores January 8 for $79.99.
Cricket Wireless is offering people who port their number to Cricket today through Jan. 7 a $100 bill credit. A similar promotion, which gave switchers a $100 shopping card, was first unveiled during the Black Holiday shopping week. That promo expired Dec. 6. The new promotion is a bill credit, not a shopping card. Cricket says the promo can be combined with several of its other seasonal offers, such as discounts on the LG G Stylo and Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime.
Cricket today announced more holiday promotions that see significant price cuts to its lineup of smartphones. Beginning Dec. 4, new and existing customers can but the iPhone 5c for $179.99 or $229.99 for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively. Similarly, the iPhone 5s will cost $199.99 and $249.99 for the 16GB and 32GB models. These prices are in effect through Jan 7. Cricket is also offering incentives to people who switch from other carriers. Cricket will sell the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime to switchers for $29.99, the LG G Stylo for $49.99, and the ZTE Sonata 2 for $9.99. Customers who switch by Dec. 6 will receive a $100 shopping card.
T-Mobile is targeting AT&T customers once again with a new promotion that cuts $200 from the price of the iPhone 6s 128GB. AT&T, Cricket, and GoPhone customers who port their number to T-Mobile can buy the 128GB iPhone for the same price as the 16GB iPhone. T-Mobile is also offering to cut the price of select accessories by up to 50%. For example, smartwatches, Bluetooth speakers, and fitness trackers are eligible for discounts when purchased in-store. The discounted iPhone will be available to AT&T customers between Dec. 4. and Dec. 13. T-Mobile says the promotion can be combined with Carrier Freedom, which offers to pay ETFs and other fees up to $650 per line to those who switch from AT&T to T-Mobile. T-Mobile offered a similar promotion to Sprint customers last week, and says Verizon customers will have their own promo in the weeks ahead.
Cricket Wireless today announced that John Dwyer will replace Jennifer Van Buskirk as president. Dwyer will be responsible for the brand's day-to-day operations and long-term strategy. Before joining Cricket, Dwyer worked at AT&T Mobile, Cingular, and Pacific Bell. Van Buskirk has been named president of AT&T's northeast region. Cricket is owned and operated by AT&T.
Cricket Wireless today cut the price of the Samsung Galaxy S4, S5, and S6 handsets by 50%. Through Dec. 3, the Galaxy S4 costs $99.99, the Galaxy S5 costs $199.99, and the Galaxy S6 costs $249.99. Customers need to activate the handset with a line of service in order to receive the discount. Cricket said the deal can be combined with its offer of a $100 gift card to those who port their number to Cricket through Dec. 6.
ZTE today said it is making the ZMax 2 smartphone available to consumers unlocked. The phone was originally sold via TracFone earlier this year, but is now online directly from ZTE. The full price of the phone is $179.99, but ZTE is running a limited sale price of $129.99. The ZMax 2 has a 5.5-inch 720p HD screen; quad-core 1.2GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage; 8-megapixel main camera with full HD vide capture and a 2-megapixel user-facing camera. It includes Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, WiFi, and LTE radios. The phone packs a 3,000 mAh battery. The ZMax 2 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and is compatible with the networks operated by AT&T, T-Mobile, and their prepaid businesses, Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS, respectively.
Cricket Wireless today kicked off a promotions to entice consumers to port their number to Cricket. People who switch to Cricket between today and Dec. 6 will earn a $100 Cricket Shopping Card. The card can be used for monthly service, handsets, and accessories at Cricket stores. Cricket said it will let new customers combine this deal with existing mail-in rebate promos on select phones to save even more money. For example, Cricket is offering the LG Risio, Motorola Moto E, Nokia Lumia 635, and the ZTE Overture 2 for free after rebates. The rebates are available to all customers through Jan. 7. The $100 gift card is only available to new customers.
Cricket Wireless today announced Cricket Rewards, a loyalty program that lets customers earn points that can be used for various rewards. The program is accessible via the Cricket Rewards and MyCricket applications, which are free to download. Cricket will award points for opening/registering accounts, setting up auto pay, making on-time payments, checking the weather, and other everyday activities. Customers can redeem points for gift cards at select retailers, including AMC Theaters, Amazon, GameStop, Old Navy, Sears, and others. Points can also be used to enter sweepstakes or make charitable donations. To help initiate interest in the program, Cricket is launching a $25,000 "selfie sweepstakes." There is no limit to the number of points customers can earn, and the points don't expire as long as customers remain active in the program.
Cricket today expanded its international options to include data roaming in Canada and Mexico at no extra charge. Customers who subscribe to Cricket's Smart and Pro plans, $50 and $60 per month, respectively, can use their rate plan data when traveling throughout North America. The Smart plan includes 5GB of data and the Pro plan includes 10GB of data. Cricket already provides unlimited calling, texting, and messaging in between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S., and unlimited international texting from the U.S. to 38 different countries.
Cricket Wireless today announced that it will offer the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 beginning Nov. 6. The handset will cost $149.99 with a new activation. The Idol 3 has been for sale in the U.S. since April, but this marks the first time it will be sold by a carrier. The Idol 3 has a 5.5-inch full HD screen and octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The phone boasts stereo JBL speakers with Clarify processing and 1.2W amplifiers. The main camera uses a 13-megapixel Sony sensor that includes a variety of modes and video-capture tools. The phone has an 8-megapixel user-facing camera with wide-angle lens. Connectivity options include LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, FM radio, GPS, and WiFi. The Idol 3 has a 2,910mAh battery and supports microSD cards up to 128 GB. The Cricket Wireless variant of the phone integrates the Deezer music streaming service with Alcatel's Mix deejay application. Idol 3 owners can listen to their Deezer playlists directly from Mix and add effects, transition songs, sync, mix, scratch, or insert samples. The Idol 3 runs Android.
Cricket Wireless today announced a significant expansion of its retail footprint thanks to Target. Beginning Oct. 25, Cricket handsets and services will be available in some 1,600 Target stores around the country. Consumers will be able to purchase smartphones from HTC, LG, Samsung, and ZTE for prices ranging between $50 and $130, as well as SIM cards for BYOD customers. Cricket says the expansion means it now has a presence in 9,000 retail locations around the U.S.
Cricket Wireless says the vast majority of customers have transitioned away from its legacy CDMA network ahead of tomorrow's planned shutdown. AT&T has been moving Cricket customers from the older CDMA network to its own GSM-based network since it acquired the carrier several years ago. Earlier this summer, Cricket said 97% of its customers have made the jump to GSM handsets with lower-than-expected churn rates. Some CDMA customers remain active in California and a few other locations, according to Cricket, though the prepaid carrier declined to say exactly how many. Once the shutdown commences, those customers will lose network access. Cricket has been notifying customers for nearly 18 months of the impending shutdown via text messages, mailers, and emails. Cricket customers using older CDMA-based phones should upgrade their phone as soon as possible in order to maintain service. Cricket's CDMA shutdown follows that of MetroPCS, which T-Mobile shuttered earlier this year.
Cricket Wireless today announced availability and pricing details for the HTC Desire 520 in addition to a slew of other discounts and deals. The Desire 520 reaches Cricket stores Sept. 11 for $99.99. The 520 is an entry-level Android handset. Cricket is also offering significant discounts to new customers who port their number from another carrier. For example, it will drop the price of the LG Risio from $49.99 to $19.99 and the price of the LG Stylo from $149.99 to $99.99. Customers can grab the Samsung Galaxy S4 for $299, the S5 for $399, or the S6 for $499. Last, Cricket is holding open enrollment for its device protection program, called Cricket Protect. The service covers damage and other issues for $7 to $10 per month, depending on the handset.
Cricket Wireless today made more calling and messaging add-on plans available to a greater number of countries throughout Central and South America. For $10 per month, Cricket customers can add Columbia, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic to their plan. The plan provides 150, 100, and 100 voice minutes, respectively, as well as unlimited messaging (text, picture, video). For $15 per month, Cricket customers gain various amounts of voice minutes and unlimited messaging to El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Jamaica, Haiti, and Nicaragua. These options must be added to Cricket's $50 or $60 monthly plans. Cricket also improved its Canada plan. Subscribers to the $50 or $60 plans will receive unlimited talk and text to and from Canada (when roaming) for free. Cricket already offers similar unlimited calling and messaging to/from Mexico. The new international add-ons are available starting today.
Cricket Wireless today said the LG G Stylo and HTC Desire 626s are available at its stores and on its web site. The G Stylo costs $199.99 and the Desire 626s costs $149.99. Service plans for these Android handsets are as low as $35.
Cricket Wireless today improved its international offering by adding the ability to make calls and send text messages from Canada and Mexico to the U.S. The change means Cricket customers who travel to Canada and Mexico will be able to stay in touch with family and friends in the U.S. while they are away. Cricket customers are already able to make unlimited calls and send unlimited messages from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico. Cricket said the "roundtrip" feature will be available to its Smart and Pro plans ($50 and $60 per month, respectively) for at no extra cost. The unlimited calling/SMS feature goes into effect for Mexico on August 2 and will go into effect for Canada later in August. Cricket's move follows similar calling plan changes made by parent company AT&T, as well as competitors T-Mobile and MetroPCS.
HTC today revealed a new family of Desire handsets. The 626 series (pictured) and 526/520 series share many features, though the former is a bit more mid-range and the latter is decidedly entry-level. Traits common to the 626, 626S, 526, and 520 include Qualcomm's 1.1 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor; 2,000mAh batteries; single-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, and GPS/GLONASS; support for 2 TB memory cards; and Android 5.1 Lollipop with HTC Sense.
- 626/626S: In keeping with prior Desire designs, the 626/626S are formed of polycarbonate and have variable color combinations. These larger Desire handsets have 5-inch 720p HD screens and 8-megapixel main cameras with 720p video capture. The 626 has 16 GB of storage, 1.5GB of RAM, and a 5-megapixel user-facing camera. The 626S has 8 GB of storage, 1 GB of RAM, and a 2-megapixel user-facing camera.
- 526/520:The 526 and 520 share most design features, but differ in some key specs. They have a simple appearance and cheaper materials. The 526, intended for Verizon, has a 4.7-inch qHD screen, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, 8 GB of storage, and 1.5 GB of RAM. The 520, intended for Cricket Wireless, has a 4.5-inch FWVGA screen, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, 8 GB of storage, and 1 GB of RAM.
Cricket Wireless today said its goods and services will be available at 213 Meijer stores across the midwest beginning June 27. Consumers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky will be able buy prepackaged phone kits from phone makers such as HTC, Samsung, and ZTE. The stores will also sell Cricket's universal SIM card kits for those who already have a compatible device. Cricket Wireless is owned and operated by AT&T.
AT&T's prepaid unit today added the ZTE Maven to its roster of inexpensive handsets. The Maven is a rebadged Overture 2, which is sold by AT&T's Cricket Wireless business. The Maven is an entry-level Android smartphone that it is selling for $59.99. The Maven features a 4.5-inch FWVGA display, 5-megapixel main camera, VGA user-facing camera, 8 GB of storage, and support for memory cards up to 32 GB. This handset also has a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor and a 2,100mAh battery. The Maven from ZTE runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and is compatible with AT&T's LTE 4G network.
Cricket Wireless has made the ZTE Sonata 2 available on its web site for $29.99. This inexpensive Android smartphone has a 4-inch WVGA screen protected by Dragontrail Glass and it is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor. The ZTE Sonata 2 includes a 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front camera with a dedicated selfie app. The phone has 1 GB of memory and 4 GB of storage, and supports memory cards up to 32 GB. Connectivity options include 4G, Bluetooth, and WiFi. The phone has a 1,650mAh battery providing it with power and supports Qualcomm QuickCharge 1.0 for quicker charging. The Sonata 2 runs Android 4.4 KitKat.
Boost Mobile today introduced a limited promotion aimed at enticing MetroPCS and Cricket Wireless customers to switch. Boost will cut the monthly service fees in half for Metro and Cricket customers that sign up for Boost service between now and July 20. Boost says the halved bills can save Metro and Cricket customers between $20 and $30 per month for up to one full year. For example, MetroPCS is charging $40 a month for unlimited talk/text and 2.5GB of LTE data. Customers who port their number to Boost can get that same service plan for $20 per month. Similarly, Cricket charges customers who have unlimited talk/text and 10GB of data $60 per month. Boost will charge only $30 for that same plan. After the year-long promotion expires, customers will automatically be migrated to the Boost plan with a comparable amount of monthly data. Boost operates on Sprint's network. Sprint is offering a similar promotion to customers who switch from AT&T or Verizon Wireless.
Cricket Wireless today gave its customers more reason to call friends and family living overseas. First, Cricket added Brazil, Singapore, and Nigeria to the list of countries in its Cricket International add-on. Customers now have access to unlimited landline calls and text messages to 38 countries for $5 per month. Customers looking to send picture/video messages and call wireless numbers in those same countries can upgrade to the Cricket International Extra add-on, which costs $15 per month. Cricket today also debuted a new calling add-on specifically for Cuba. The Cricket International Cuba add-on costs $15 and provides 15 voice minutes. It can be added as a recurring feature, or used only when needed. Last, Cricket said it is offering customers who switch from another carrier a smartphone for 99 cents. The new international calling plans will be available starting June 25.
Cricket Wireless today announced the ZTE Overture 2, an entry-level Android smartphone that it is selling for $50. The Overture 2 features a 4.5-inch FWVGA display, 5-megapixel main camera, VGA user-facing camera, 8 GB of storage, and support for memory cards up to 32 GB. This updated handset also has a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor and a 2,100mAh battery. The Overture 2 from ZTE runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and is compatible with Cricket's LTE 4G network.
Cricket Wireless recently added the ZTE Fanfare to its lineup of inexpensive handsets. The Fanfare has a 4.5-inch screen with 854 x 480 pixels. It is protected by Dragontail glass. The Fanfare is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor and comes with 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of ROM. The Fanfare's main camera has a 5-megapixel sensor and can capture 720p HD video, and the user-facing camera has a VGA sensor. A 2,000mAh battery keeps the Fanfare running. The device has Google's Android 4.4 KitKat on board. Walmart is selling the ZTE Fanfare for Cricket Wireless. It is priced at $69.88.
Cricket Wireless today said the Lumia 640, which goes on sale May 15, will cost $129.99. Early buyers of the phone will be rewarded with a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal for use on the phone as well as on a tablet and on a PC. The phone also offers 1TB of OneDrive storage for a period of one year, and 60 minutes of free Skype Unlimited Worldwide calling each month. The phone has a 5-inch HD screen, 8-megapixel camera, LTE, Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS. The Lumia 640 will ship with Windows 8.1, but can be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile later this year. Cricket does not require contracts.
Cricket Wireless today indicated via its Twitter account that it will begin to sell the Microsoft Lumia 640 on May 15. The company didn't immediately provide pricing details.
Verizon Wireless is offering its prepaid customers 1 GB of bonus data if they sign up for auto-pay. In order to qualify for the extra data, customers need to have the $45 or $60 prepaid plan. With auto-pay enabled, subscribers to the $45 plan will see their data allotment improve from 1 GB to 2 GB per month, while subscribers to the $60 plan will see their data allotment jump from 2.5 GB to 3.5 GB. Existing customers will see their bonus data appear after their next automatic payment. Verizon said this offer will only be available for a limited time. A handful of other pre-paid providers, including the likes of Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless, also offer discounts for using auto-pay.
Cricket Wireless today upgraded its $50 and $60 monthly plans to include unlimited international calling and messaging to Canada. Customers won't have to take any steps to activate the feature, Cricket is doing so automatically for all new and existing subscribers. The Canada calling plan is being offered at no additional charge. Cricket added free calling and messaging to Mexico earlier this year. Cricket customers can now call practically any number in North America for free as long as they subscribe to the $50 or $60 plan. Those looking to call numbers outside of North America can tack on the Cricket International Extra option for $15 per month, which lets customers receive unlimited landline calling and messaging to 35 countries plus 1,000 mobile-to-mobile minutes to 29 countries. Last, the Cricket International Roaming Mexico add-on lets customers make and receive calls and send messages when traveling in Mexico for $10. Taxes and fees are included, and customers can qualify for a $5 monthly discount on all plans by adding auto-pay.
Cricket Wireless today said it expects to begin selling the Samsung Galaxy S6 online and in stores on April 24. Cricket is charging $649 for the handset, but service plans start at $40 per month and don't require contracts. Customers looking to defray the cost of the handset can choose one of Cricket's new payment plans. One option includes an initial payment of $19.99 followed by equal payments of about $26.25 for 24 months. Another requires an initial payment of $49.99 followed by payment in full within 90 days.
Cricket Wireless announced the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime is available to customers today for $179.99. The phone has a 5-inch qHD display, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 8-megapixel main camera, 5-megapixel front camera, and a 2,600mAh battery. The phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat and is compatible with Cricket's LTE 4G network. Service plans start at $35. Cricket Wireless is owned and operated by AT&T.
Cricket today said new customers who switch to Cricket from T-Mobile, MetroPCS, Sprint, Boost, and other competitors will receive one free month of service after completing two months of service. In order to qualify, customers must subscribe to a $50 or $60 rate plan. The offer will only be available for a limited time.
Cricket Wireless today announced a series of payment plans it says will help customers get the phone they want while breaking down the costs over time. The first option for those with good credit is a straight up 24-month loan. Customers make an initial payment of $19.99 and then 24 monthly payments of equal amount at 0% interest. This option requires a credit check. The second option also asks for an initial payment of $19.99 and requires a credit check, but offers interest-free payments for just six months. Customers who pay off the device balance in six months won't be charged any interest, but customers who don't will have up to 18 months to pay the device off at 29.99% APR. The third option is a 90-days-same-as-cash deal. Customers need to make an initial payment of $49.99 and pay off the balance within 90 days. This option doesn't require a credit check. These financing plans are available for all devices that cost $199.99 and up, and can include accessories and taxes. A maximum of five devices may be financed per account. Cricket believes these options will allow its customers to obtain the handset of their choice, such as the $649 Samsung Galaxy S6, without hitting them with the full price all at once.
Cricket Wireless today announced a new option for consumers, who can now buy a Bring Your Own Device Universal SIM Card Activation Kit from Amazon.com for $9.99. The kit includes a nano SIM card with micro and mini tray adaptors so the card can be used with a wide variety of devices. The kit provides all the information customers will need to self-activate a service plan (via the web or via phone) with Cricket Wireless. Consumers will need to supply their own unlocked GSM handset, but Cricket will waive activation fees. Service plans start at $40 a month, but customers can earn a $5 deduction if they set up auto-pay with their account. Cricket eventually expects to offer its mobile devices via Amazon, too. Cricket is owned and operated by AT&T.