Last month, a series of leaked screenshots revealed RadioShack's plan to team up with Cricket Communications and launch its own pay as you go wireless service. On Wednesday, the electronics retailer confirmed the rumors with the launch of two new feature phones.
Previously, shoppers could find a number of phones with varying carriers after walking into a RadioShack store. Now they'll also be able to find two Huawei phones offered directly by the company.
The "feature" phone for the service, the Huawei Pillar, costs $39.99 and comes in a $25/month or $35/month package. The phone boasts a basic QWERTY keyboard with a camera and internet access.
The cheaper of the feature plans comes with 300 voice minutes while the $35 plan comes with 1000. Both phones come with unlimited texting and internet access, but only the smartphone plans and phones offer 3G connectivity.
The first smartphone launching under the service is the Huawei Mercury, costing an initial $149.99 with two offered plans: $50/month or $60/month. Both plans feature unlimited voice and text but the $60 plan offers 2.5 GB of full speed 3G data in comparison to the $50 plan's 1GB limit. Powered by a 1.4 GHz single core processor, the Android 2.3 device comes with a four-inch display and eight-megapixel camera.
Although there are only two phones currently on offer, RadioShack promises two more devices by the end of the month. With its current line-up, RadioShack's phones are far from the specifications of modern smartphones, and may still be pricey on the monthly scale. But for anybody looking to ditch the cumbersome contracts of larger wireless carriers, perhaps RadioShack's future phones will be more appealing.