Cricket Wireless and Virgin Mobile are both offering pre-paid plans for the iPhone 4S, a deal which includes a flat payment and no contract. While Cricket’s iPhone is slated to release on June 22, Virgin Mobile’s will release on June 29. Both these offers will help users save money compared to being a part of the contract plans offered by AT&T, Verizon or Sprint (the other iPhone carriers).
Cricket is offering the 16GB iPhone 4S for $399.99 and the 8GB model of the iPhone 4 for $499.99, complete with a pricing plan with unlimited talk, text and 2.3 GB of data on a monthly basis at $55.99. Cricket also offers a $40 plan for 1,200 minutes and a $30 plan for 300 minutes. The cost of the iPhone in this case is $150 less than the price charged by Apple for the unlocked version. Cricket can only sell phones in areas with PCS coverage, though it has a roaming agreement with Sprint as well.
Though a Cricket iPhone will continue to work in AWS territory, customers cannot purchase one in such an area. Cricket will also offer unlocked SIM cards in their iPhones so as to support international use, benefiting users who travel overseas. As confirmed by their publicist, a user can buy a Cricket iPhone, activate the Cricket network by paying for services for a month and switch to using a prepaid SIM once they are overseas. The iPhone however will be kept locked with respect to other carriers within US.
Virgin Mobile on the other hand offers 300 minutes and unlimited text with 2.5 GB of data for $30 per month. However, they are offering the 16GB iPhone 4S for $649 and the 8GB model of iPhone 4 for $549, which is rather expensive, not to mention the fact that Virgin’s iPhone will be locked completely. Virgin also piggybacks on Sprint’s network. Though Sprint may not be able to match up to Verizon, the thought of not having a contract and being able to save hundreds of dollars will help it win customers. Virgin’s efficient network coverage and their tiered plan offer will help users save around $300 over the plan offered by Cricket.
Since neither of the two companies have contract based plans, a user can purchase an iPhone from either of them, use it for a month and then continue utilizing the Wi-Fi facility until they make up their mind to renew for another month of service.