Prepaid wireless carrier Boost Mobile may offer the iPhone 4 and 4S starting this September, according to “trusted sources” speaking with tech site TechnoBuffalo Thursday. The rumor comes on the heels of carrier Cricket Wireless’s announcement that it will offer both phones on a prepaid basis starting June 22.
Both Cricket’s announcement and Boost’s rumor represent the first official availability of an iPhone on a prepaid service option and line up with news earlier this month that Apple might soon make the iPhone 3GS available on prepaid networks in developing countries.
There is no information yet on the pricing of Boost’s iPhones or prepaid plan options. Cricket announced that they will offer the 8GB iPhone 4 for $399.99 and the 16GB iPhone 4S for $499.99, a $149 discount from their full unlocked price from Apple, with unlimited service plans at $55 per month.
Boost Mobile, which began operations in the United States in 2001, is a wholly owned division of Sprint Nextel and utilizes Sprint’s CDMA network. The company also operates in Australia and New Zealand, but it is unknown if the prepaid iPhone option will be available there.
A novel feature of Boost plans is “Shrinkage,” their payment incentive discount that lowers customers’ monthly bills $5 for every six months of on-time payments, down to a minimum number depending on plan.
If the iPhone qualifies for Shrinkage, and assuming that the iPhone plan will correlate to the current Android plan of $55 per month, customers who pay their bill on time for 18 straight months will see their bill lowered to a minimum of $40 per month, making the service highly attractive for those in the coverage area.