Cricket / Leap Launches First Contract Free iPhone http://snapvoip.blogspot.com/
But looks like Apple too will be entering the contract less pre paid market through Cricket network owned by Leap Wireless (LEAP). Leap / Cricket is the sixth US carrier to get iPhone. Cricket customers or would be customers in US will be able to get the country's first pre-paid iPhone beginning on June 22. Pre-sales will begin online June 15. But be prepared to pay nearly full price for the device, starting with $500 for the 16 gigabyte iPhone 4S or $400 for the two-year-old iPhone 4.
Verizon, Sprint and AT&T charges up front fee of $200 for the 16 GB iPhone 4S and $100 for the iPhone 4. I paid $399 for the Google Galaxy Nexus. I will be using it with an existing contract.
Cricket / Leap was very happy get iPhone on their shelves;
"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, 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." said Doug Hutcheson, president and chief executive officer, Leap Wireless International, Inc..
The Cricket's iPhone will be contract-free and will cost $55 a month, for unlimited talk and text. There is also a sort of "unlimited data," which will start slowing down after monthly usage reaches 2.3 GB.
Cricket is estimating ($70 - $80 month) average iPhone customer under contract to pay pay $2,775 over the course of two years, which includes the cost of the device, $200 or $100. Cricket might attract users with it's estimated cost of $1719 over the same period, which is actually more than $1000 less.
But the problem will be the coverage. If the coverage that iPhone supports increases, customers will certainly follow.