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Thursday, May 31, 2012
Cricket to Launch iPhone on June 22

Cricket Communications is about to become the first operator in the country to offer a prepaid iPhone. The Leap Wireless International subsidiary announced today it would begin selling the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 on a no-contract basis starting June 22. We think this helps level the playing field with postpaid carriers on handsets, Leap President and CEO Doug Hutcheson said during a call with analysts.

The arrival of the iPhone at Cricket marks a major step forward in setting the company apart from the competition, he said. The iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 will not be the last Apple devices to make their appearance at Cricket – Hutcheson said the company expects to offer new models when they become available." Customers will have to pay more up front for the hugely popular smartphone, as Cricket is only providing "modest subsidies" on the device. The iPhone 4S 16 GB model will retail for $500 and the iPhone 4 runs at $400. The device retails for between $100 and $200 at postpaid providers.

But Cricket is offering the iPhone with much lower monthly rates than postpaid plans. Its prepaid plan for the iPhone runs at just $55 for unlimited voice, text and data – though Cricket's fair usage policy caps out data access at 2.3 GB per month. Cricket's Muve Music service will not be offered on the device. Cricket is banking on its customers taking a long-term view of costs. Though its subscribers could pay less for the iPhone at a postpaid carrier, the contract they have to sign to get that low rate locks them into monthly service plans averaging around $100, which end up being more expensive over time. Cricket claims that the total cost of owning a prepaid iPhone on its network for two years the average term of a postpaid contract – is $1,719. The average cost of owning a postpaid iPhone on contract over the same period of time is $2,775, Cricket estimates. The $1,000 cost discrepancy will be Cricket's primary differentiator. Cricket airtime refills are available for all plans at

Posted in Cricket at 3:10:29 PM EDT
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