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Prepaid getting better handset selection

Continuing on with our following of the mainstream media’s newfound obsession with prepaid wireless, we turn today to Bob Tedeschi of the New York Times, who writes on the topic of prepaid phones. Once upon a time, if you wanted prepaid wireless service you had to settle for a crappy, low-end phone. Even nowadays when you go into a retail store and purchase a prepaid phone package, chances are it’s coming with a mediocre phone at best. Yet many carriers have upped the quality of their handset offerings.

He talks a lot about Boost Mobile. They’re not exactly known for high-quality handsets, but they’re about to release the Motorola Stature i9. The phone looks cool, and I can say first hand that it is pretty freaking awesome. It features an external touchscreen with haptic feedback, and a screen big enough to watch YouTube-quality videos. A 3.1 megapixel camera helps boost the phone’s profile. It’s definitely the best offering from Boost, and it might be one of the best handsets available on any prepaid platform.

Also on the list of prepaid companies with quality phones is Virgin Mobile. We’ve seen a number of releases from them lately, including the soon-to-be-launched Kyocera X-tc. The Helio Ocean 2 is a nice option, though it’s more geared towards postpaid service. They also released the Virgin Mobile Shuttle last year, which was met with a positive reaction.

The handset trend isn’t just limited to these two carriers, though. AT&T recently started offering the Pantech Slate on their Go Phone service. We’re also awaiting a new Motorola offering for Cricket and MetroPCS. It won’t be as cool as the i9, though. Finally, there’s the rumor that MetroPCS will launch the BlackBerry Curve at the end of the month.

The phones are getting better and better for prepaid, and it couldn’t come at a better time. People’s interests are piqued. Might as well reel them in with some quality handset offerings.