Lesson Learned: When is a Phone a Smartphone under PrePaid?

Lesson Learned: When is a Phone a Smartphone under PrePaid?

After some close review, I think I found the answer to: "When is a Phone a Smartphone under Prepaid (relative to the mandated, extra-cost, data feature plans)?"


Is it one of:

  1. 3G capability?
  2. 3.5G HSPDA+?
  3. QWERTY keypad (full or virtual)?
  4. Touch Screen?
  5. WiFi capability?
  6. GPS capability, either assisted (A-GPS) or standard?
  7. Any combo of the above?

The answer is no.  It is not.


Guess again:  The answer is the Operating System. 


  1. If it is one of Android, iOS, Blackberry, Microsoft Windows Mobile 7, then the answer is YES, it is a smartphone, relative to the mandated data feature plans.
  2. Otherwise it is not a smartphone, and it is covered by the unlimited $50-month talk/text/data plan.

All the examples I looked at validate this conclusion.  There might be some stragglers that do not fit perfectly. like HTC phones that are double boot:  Windows Mobile 6.1, originally, and Android on a second boot ROM.


A perfect example of this is shown by the Samsung phones marketed by AT&T (pre-paid or post-paid):

  1. The Samsung Strive, Samsung Solistice II, Samsung Eternity II, and Samsung Flight all have proprietary OSes and all are not smartphones for the purpose of the extra-cost data feature plans.
  2. However, the Samsung Captivate which is an Android 2.1 phone is a smartphone relative to the data feature plan.

And this distinction is really an artificial one, as the Developer Forum for AT&T phones (http://developer.att.com ) assumes all these Samsung phones to be Smartphones, even though all but one in this list have proprietary kernels.


I think this artificial distinction is what has many folks super confused.  It had me for a while.



Message 1 of 1
You must type a description before you click preview or reply.
Share this topic

Find the Unlimited Plan that works best for you at our Knowledge Sharing Session: Whole Lotta' Data Going On on Wed. 6/28 from 1-4pm ET / noon-3pm CT / 10am-1pm PT!

Find out the very latest about the new iPad Pros!

Are you looking to upgrade and activate your device?

Let us help make Ordering, Upgrading and Activating easy!

Additional Support