Verizon ran the numbers and decided that with today's generation of mucho expensive smartphones, it is worth offering them at full price with no contract obligation. Therefore it is going all European - 15 of the best phones in its lineup will be available on prepaid starting September 2nd, if internal documents are to be believed.
All the DROIDs and the Fascinate
are in this list, as well as a bunch of BlackBerrys. Only Windows Mobile is left without prepaid at launch, but that's quite explicable considering that WP7 is approaching.
You will still need to pay the full phone price upfront, choose a talk option, and get the smartphones a month-to-month data plan worth $30, or $10 for the "3G multimedia devices". Breaking the shackles of a two-year plan that ends up costing much more, though - priceless!
Have a look at the full device list below - no more "cheapo phones only" sign at the prepaid shelf.