Smartphones arent just for the credit-worthy.
AT&T is releasing its first prepaid smartphone, the LG Thrive, a device that runs on Googles Android 2.2. platform.
The nations second-largest mobile operator will sell the phone for $179.99 beginning on April 17 at company-owned retail stores and in select national retail locations.
In order to use data services, customers will need a GoPhone smartphone plan and a data package.
AT&T is offering data packages starting at $5 per month for 10 MB. Data plans also will be sold for $15 per month (100 MB) and $25 per month (500 MB).
A data package includes unlimited Wi-Fi usage at thousands of AT&T hotspots.
On April 17, AT&T also will begin selling the LG Phoenix, which costs $49.99 and requires a two-year contract.
Both smartphones feature the Android 2.2 platform, a 3.2-inch color full-touch display, Exchange email support and a 3.2-megapixel camera.
AT&T’s chief rival, Verizon Wireless, has been offering prepaid data plans on smartphones for at least several months now.
Debra Lewis, a Verizon Wireless spokeswoman, said nearly every Verizon Wireless phone can be used on a prepaid plan.
In September, the nation’s largest mobile operator announced that it was expanding its portfolio of prepaid offerings to include a new 3G prepaid data package that lets customers access unlimited data on select 3G smartphones and multimedia phones for $30 monthly access. Some of those smartphones include the BlackBerry Curve 8330, Palm Pre Plus, DROID 2 by Motorola and LG Ally.