GoPhones no longer need be DumbPhones, according to AT&T and LG. AT&T has just announced the LG Thrive, their first smartphone that doesn't require a contract. The phone will run on the Android 2.2 platform and be available for purchase on April 17th.
The LG Thrive will have a 600MHz processor, full-touch display and a 3.2 MP camera. It will be fully usable on AT&T's 3G network and is fully wi-fi capable.
Here's the pricing breakdown: The phone will start at $179.99 but of course to be fully capable, users must purchase a GoPhone data plan and voice plan. The voice plans are either 10 cents per minute or $2 a day unlimited talk and text. AT&T is announcing a new data package of 500 MB for $25 and lowering the price of 10 MB and 100 MB data packages to $5 and $15, respectively.
On the same day, the LG Phoenix will be available as well. It is the same phone, basically, except it comes in dark blue and is postpaid. The Phoenix will be $49.99 and require a 2 year contract.
"We are excited to add LG Thrive, the first smartphone for GoPhone, to AT&T's growing Android portfolio," said Judy Cavalieri, vice president, Voice and Prepaid Products, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "Thrive brings more choice and more value to our GoPhone customers by delivering the benefits of a smartphone, balanced with functionality and affordability."
Android is set to dominate the smartphone market by 2012, estimates ranging from 45% to 50% share. Analysts at Gartner suggested that Android's greatest volume opportunity will come in low to mid cost smartphones and "emerging markets."