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One way to get high-end smartphones on prepaid

Before long Verizon will release what will prove to be the best smartphone of 2011: the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It’s technical specifications blow every other smartphone out of the water, and its new Android 4.0 operating system provides cutting edge features. While the iPhone 4S will sell better, the Galaxy is without a doubt the superior device.
Of course, you’ll probably never see this device on a prepaid carrier. Verizon protects its highest end smartphones with exclusive agreements. Even MVNOs that buy time from Verizon have no chance at landing the Galaxy Nexus or any other high-end Android. Sprint, on the other hand, apparently sees the folly in this. According to their product chief, they’re working on a plan that could deliver better phones to prepaid partners.

The product chief’s statements, relayed through CNET, are pretty vague, so it’s tough to get a real idea of what print has up its sleeve. The gist is that they’d consider rebranding these high-end handsets and offering them to their MVNO partners, of which there are many. Those carriers could then offer them at a premium to their own subscribers. Considering all the small carriers operating on Sprint’s 3G network, this could prove enticing. It would bring a considerable advantage to Sprint’s own prepaid brands, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.
For now, however, this remains wishful thinking. It’s one idea expressed by one member of Sprint’s staff. It would be a great thing to see, but we should certainly file it under: “I’ll believe it when I see it.”