FreedomPop’s Free Mobile Service Arrives For The iPhone.
FreedomPop has recently announced it will begin selling a refurbished Apple iphone 5 for a total amount of $349. The company has also stated that it will provide service to customers who bring their existing iPhone to MVNO. Additionally, in an effort to generate interest among customer who are still on a contract with other carriers, Freedompop commented that it will provide free calling and texting services to any iPhone owner through its new over-the-top, FreedomPop-branded iOS application.
“It’s a pretty big play for us to move into the iOS world,” FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols said, noting that iPhones command around half of the U.S. smartphone market.
FreedomPop launched its first phone during the very late moment in the previous year, the HTC Evo Design WiMAX smartphone for $99 without a contract. The MVNO included the WiMAX-capable Samsung Galaxy S II for $169 during February. The company’s launch of the iPhone represents FreedomPop’s first LTE device.
FreedomPop’s service plan for the iPhone is similar to the plans for the Galaxy S II and Evo Design: Customers can get 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages and 500 MBs of data for free per month. Unlimited voice, text and data plan begin at under $5 per month.
FreedomPop’s main objective is to sell over 300,000 refurbished smartphones this year, generated annual revenue of $40 million to $50 million, according to an interview the company had done with USA Today.
Stokols stated that Freedompop has purchased “thousands, not tens of thousands” of refurbished iPhone 5s for the launch. The company also has an additional 20,000 iPhone lined up for purchasing if customers demand warrants more units.
As for FreedomPop’s OTT application, named FreedomPop Free Voice and Text, Stokols explained that it represents a “Trojan horse” strategy for the MVNO. He said that the application is intended to generate interest in FreedomPop’s service among customers of other carriers, in the hopes that they shall eventually switch over to Freedompop. Stokols stated that application will provide a free calling and texting services, but will require customers to have some sort of data connect, either though WiFi or cellular.
“That really opens it up for us,” he said, noting that most active iPhones are locked into contracts. “Going after those is key for us.”