Best Buy purchases Verizon MVNO Great Call for $800 million
If your father, mother, grandfather or grandmother are not of the smartphone generation, chances are that they are rockin' a Jitterbug phone. The flip phones with big buttons, loud speakers and brightly colored displays have been sold by Verizon MVNO Great Call for over ten years. Today, Best Buy said that it is buying Great Call for $800 million. The MVNO says that it currently has 900,000 subscribers.
Best Buy has also been selling the Jitterbug flip phone, and the Jitterbug Smart. The latter is a smartphone with large text on a 5.5-inch display, powered by the Snapdragon 210 SoC. Great Call also offers quick one click access to health and urgent care services on its phones and wearable devices.
Great Call was Best Buy's first retail partner and this transaction is the largest in Best Buy's history. Great Call is profitable, and will operate separately of Best Buy. CEO David Inns will keep his position, and corporate headquarters will remain in San Diego.
Regulatory approval is required, and the deal is expected to close by the end of Best Buy's fiscal 2019 third quarter in October of next year.