Apple's iPhone goes prepaid

Apple iPhone Prepaid Plans

Beginning on June 22nd, consumers in the United States will be able to purchase a new iPhone to be used alongside prepaid wireless service. Regional carrier Cricket, owned by Leap Wireless, will offer Apple’s iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 off contract alongside its $55 unlimited talk, text and data plan. Though labeled as unlimited, the plan includes 2.3GB of full-speed data, and speeds will be throttled once that threshold is reached. While the news marks the start of a new chapter for Apple’s current iPhone models, the high hardware cost compared to other prepaid smartphones may be a substantial barrier for many subscribers. Cricket plans to charge $399.99 for the 8GB iPhone 4 and $499.99 for the 16GB version of the iPhone 4S. Apple’s iPhone 3GS is seen as a much more compelling handset for prepaid carriers, which may soon begin offering the 3-year-old device for between $200 and $250 off contract. Cricket’s full press release follows below.

Cricket Wireless to Offer iPhone on June 22

~ Unlimited Talk, Text and Data for Just $55 a Month

SAN DIEGO, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Cricket Communications, Inc., a leading provider of innovative and value-driven wireless services, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leap Wireless International, Inc. (NASDAQ: LEAP), 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.

iPhone 4S is the most amazing iPhone yet, packed with incredible features including Apple’s dual-core A5 chip for blazing fast performance and stunning graphics; an all-new camera with advanced optics; full 1080p HD resolution video recording; and Siri, an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. iPhone 4S comes with iOS 5.1, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system; and iCloud, a breakthrough set of free cloud services that work with your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all your devices.

“Our customers want the best products available and we are excited to bring iPhone to our pre-paid consumers with an industry leading $55 per-month service plan,” said Doug Hutcheson, president and chief executive officer, Leap Wireless International, Inc. “Launching iPhone is a major milestone for us and we are proud to offer iPhone customers attractive nationwide coverage, a robust 3G data network and a value-packed, no-contract plan.”

iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 will be available in Cricket company-owned stores and select dealers in nearly 60 markets, online at www.mycricket.com/iphone and over the phone at 800-853-7682. Starting today, customers can receive more information on the launch by registering at www.mycricket.com/iphone. iPhone 4S will be available for $499.99 for the 16GB model and iPhone 4 will be available for $399.99.

Cricket’s service plans feature all-inclusive pricing and easy-to-understand pricing packages with no service fees or overage charges. For customers, that means a bill that doesn’t fluctuate based upon monthly usage. Cricket’s all-inclusive pre-paid smartphone service plan includes:

Monthly Fee $55
Voice (minutes) Unlimited
SMS Unlimited
Data Unlimited*
iPhone 4S 16GB $499.99
iPhone 4 8GB $399.99

* Fair usage policy of 2.3GB per month.

For more information about Cricket’s dynamic service and to check for availability, visit www.mycricket.com. To follow Cricket’s latest news and updates online, visit Facebook at www.facebook.com/cricketwireless and Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cricketnation.

For more information on iPhone 4S, please visit: www.apple.com/iphone

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