updated 06:20 pm EDT, Mon August 22, 2011
HTC Evo View 4G gets prepaid tablet data
Sprint started off the week by outlining new tablet data plans in hopes of countering the iPad's success on rival carriers. Now prepaid, the plans initially let Evo View 4G users can pay for data by the time period with a matching cap. Plans start off at $15 for 150MB over one day and scale up to $30 and 500MB for a week and $50 for 1.5GB over a full month.
The plans don't directly line up but, for the bandwidth, are potentially cheaper to use than on AT&T and Verizon. Rough equivalents at both rivals offer just 100MB, 300MB, and 1GB each, Sprint claimed. The argument isn't entirely valid since iPad owners can pay $15 for 250MB, albeit per month, and pay 2GB for $25.
Similar to iPad owners, Evo View 4G owners can set up access on the device itself. Owners are also getting a free, full day of data as a trial.
More devices are getting the prepaid data option soon, Sprint explained.
Sprint is one of the later carriers to come to prepaid data on tablets and to some extent is adapting to the reality of the tablet market. With the exception of AT&T, most other US carriers when they began supporting tablets assumed that they could follow the same contract-based sales they used for phones. Many credit this for permanently damaging the chances of the Motorola Xoom, which started off at a steep $800 on contract but had to eventually get a price cut. Hardware makers had to start selling Wi-Fi only versions or otherwise reduce their dependency on providers.
Sprint has been one of the most conservative on tablets and dropped 4G PlayBook plans to leave the Evo View 4G as virtually its only consistent model.