Cricket Communications announced today that it will be the first pre-paid carrier in the US to offer iPhone to its customers. Beginning on Friday, June 22, Cricket will offer iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 with its $55 per-month, all-inclusive unlimited talk, text and data plan.
Although it is slated as the nation’s first pre-paid iPhone it has been pointed out that it is not true. In The past you had been able to run a pay as you go GoPhone with AT&T. Even more recently is straight talk’s pre-paid solution. What I think they mean, and why they can claim this is because it is the first time you can actually go in and buy an out of contract iPhone from a company directly. Even with the GoPhone plan you had to buy either an expensive unlocked iPhone or a iPhone in a contract, likewise with Straight Talk. Which really isn’t all that great.
So just what do you get with Crickets offer?
Your choice of either an 8GB iPhone 4 for $400, or 16GB iPhone 4S for $500. The unlimited data plan will set you back just 55$ a month for all you can chew talk, text and data. However there *fair usage clause that caps your download limit at 2.3 gb/month. Which is not much especially when you consider that the average iPhone user consumes twice as much data as your typical smartphone user.
People looking to save money or who live paycheck to paycheck may not want to opt for the unlocked Pre-Paid iPhone at the $00, or $500 price. Because they would be paying $300 more initially for the iPhone. Whereas AT&T’s nationwide data plan is $70 a month vs the $55 of Cricket’s we can see that yes we would start to see savings of $15 a month after 20 months, which makes it hardly worth it upfront to save $15 in 21 months.
All in all it is pretty cool that the iPhone is finally coming out on a pre-paid plan. Not because the pre-paid plan will be better for users or save them money, but because it just effectively dropped the cost of an unlocked iPhone by $200, which I think is pretty sweet.