No Contract Phone Market Gains Steam
With the market for two-year-contract phones saturated, it's no longer just the Boost Mobiles of the world offering no-contract deals. Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint also are marketing more aggressively to those who seek flexibility by prepaying for minutes and data in month-by-month contracts. Says John Weber, an analyst at tech research firm IDC, "It's not just for those who fail [a credit check]. It's also for customers who want flexibility." The number of contract-based customers fell in the first quarter of this year vs. the previous quarter, the first quarter-over-quarter decline in industry history, according to research firm Recon Analytics. Meanwhile, IDC estimates that the retail prepaid market will grow 7.4% per year on average until 2016, outpacing the post-paid market (+1.3% per year on average).