Cricket Gets First Prepaid iPhone in US

cricket clearwire LTELeap Wireless, the company that owns Cricket, announced that it will be the first carrier to offer prepaid iPhones in the U.S. on a no-contract basis.

The service will begin June 22, with the iPhone 4S starting at $500 and iPhone 4 at $400. Service cost will begin at $55 per month for unlimited calls, texting, and data.

Cricket has always focused on selling no-contract, prepaid services to low-income households. Because its own network is limited compared to bigger carriers, it depends on Sprint’s network for areas where it is lacking. The iPhone is compatible with only a part of Leap’s service, including Houston, Austin, Portland, Pittsburgh, and Salt Lake City.

Though Leap says the plans are unlimited, the company does have a cap on its usage, slowing down data after 2.3GB, which is slightly lower than Verizon or AT&T.

The iPhones are extremely popular, but its steep price has stood in the way of sales. Since Leap concentrates on low-income customers, the company knows it’s taking a chance by buying the phones. In fact, Leap doesn’t expect more than 10% of its customers to buy the iPhones, even though the company’s prices are relatively low compared to what other carriers charge.

Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint all sell the iPhone, as do other smaller phone companies.


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