Sometimes the best move in a rivalry is to bide your time. That’s what MetroPCS did to counter its rival, Cricket. During the summer Cricket launched the Kyocera Zio, a low-end Android handset. It recently added the Huawei Ascend. Both of these devices came before MetroPCS added an Android handset. That changed today, as MetroPCS go the Optimus M. I’d say that it’s a big victory for both MetroPCS and prepaid-seeking smartphone users. Instead of going with a cheap, lesser known Android handset, MetroPCS went right for a hugely popular model. Over a million Optimus One units have already sold, so they’re taking in a proven winner. That should make the handset more attractive to subscribers. The Zio looks a bit cheap, and few consumers recognize the name Huawei. But they do recognize LG, and a quick Google search will show how well the Optimus has sold. I expect this to sell better on MetroPCS than the other two combined on Cricket. The downside is that the Optimus M costs $230, which is considerably more than its Cricket Android counterparts. Again, the name recognition should help MetroPCS overcome this price point. Consumers are willing to pay for quality. What, then, of its competition with postpaid carriers? As we saw, both T-Mobile and Sprint are offering the Optimus for rather cheap — $50 or even free. That’s the price consumers will have to pay for an unsubsidized handset. Even still, it’s just $30 more than the upper tier Android handsets on contract, so it’s not that big of a leap. MetroPCS also offers unlimited everything at $60 per month, which beats the bigger carriers. Even with my Everything 500 plan on T-Mobile I’m paying over $90 per month with taxes and fees. With MetroPCs you just plop three twenties down on the counter and your bill is paid. In this case, waiting appears to be the best strategy. It helps MetroPCS against its biggest rival, because now MetroPCS has the clearly superior Android handset. It helps in competition against contract carriers, because the per-month rate is quite a bit cheaper. Even then, the two-year cost of ownership is much cheaper on MetroPCS. The Optimus T is free on T-Mobile, but again the bill comes to around $90 per month. If you buy the Optimus M for $230, you make up the difference in about eight months. MetroPCS should market the hell out of that fact.
The advantages of the Optimus One on MetroPCS
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