Cricket Wireless will become the first carrier in the USA to officially bring the iPhone to the pre-paid plan market. Anyone can already unofficially use an iPhone on a pay-go plan through AT&T, but the Cricket plan is likely a better deal.
Customers will have the choice of the following two iPhone options without a contract, available in either black or white:
- iPhone 4S 16GB – $499
- iPhone 4 8GB – $399
Interestingly, the contract-free prices offered through Cricket are slightly cheaper than the no-contract 4S pricing from Apple, suggesting the devices will be locked to Crickets network to fund the minor subsidization.
The pre-paid plan itself is just $55 a month for unlimited SMS, phone calls, and data, though there’s an artificial transfer cap of 2.3GB per month after which data becomes throttled. That rate is nearly half the cost of an average monthly iPhone plan on the competing cellular networks of Verizon and AT&T, and Cricket estimates the average customer will save about $1000 over the course of two years.
For those interested, the device will be made available on June 22 with pre-orders beginning online on June 15. Be sure to check the Cricket coverage map to see if your area has service.