Pre-paid iPhone

  • Posted: 31 May 2012 10:14 AM

    Leap’s offering is a big deal. If Leap had really good national coverage I’d personally be all over this. The delta between Leap’s pre-paid price for 4S and the subsidized price on ATT (or another carrier) would be paid back to me after only six months through the much lower $55 unlimited plan. After that, I’m ahead of the game. This is really, really interesting. I have no idea what it means going forward for unit sales (Apple already sells everything it can produce) but this is intriguing. What does it mean for ASP? Does Apple see this truly as the next frontier to push sales to even higher, never-before-seen levels? Does this push ATT, VZ, and the others to make their plans more competitive? Does that drive further smart phone adoption? I just think it’s all really, really interesting.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-31/leap-becomes-first-u-s-prepaid-carrier-to-offer-iphone.html?cmpid=yhoo

         
  • Posted: 31 May 2012 10:25 AM #1

    From   https://twitter.com/#!/SammyWalrusIV

    Leap Wireless (Cricket) - U.S. mobile carrier - signs 3-year $900 million deal with Apple - Leap will subsidize iPhone by $100-$125.

         
  • Posted: 31 May 2012 11:40 AM #2

    Two years ago I would have done it. On 4S launch day I got a 64 GB on AT&T. With the Family Plan I have, I only pay $6 a month more than Cricket is asking. Too little too late for me.

         
  • Posted: 31 May 2012 11:51 AM #3

    This is an interesting development. Leap is taking a “leap” and is probably going to make a bundle off of it. I’m interested to see how the other carriers react since they already offer pre-paid plans but just with dumb-phones. Cricket could eat that business up. For me, it’s still too pricey, unless I decide to dump my land line. I have wifi at work and home and rarely travel so a mandatory data plan of any size is not worth it to me. I’m still thinking of getting an old unlocked 3GS and put a pre-paid sim in it. Still, this is very interesting . . .

    Signature

    Less is More (more or less).

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 31 May 2012 01:19 PM #4

    Still happy with my factory unlocked 4s from Apple, using the iPad micro sim in it and Line2, plus an APN changer (not jailbroken), all for $35 mo.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 07 June 2012 01:00 PM #5

    Virgin Mobile gets iPhone for $549, $30 per month

    That means the phone, plus two years of service, will cost $1,269, excluding taxes. That’s nearly $800 less than a subscriber would pay for the same phone, an iPhone 4 with 8 gigabytes of memory, if buying it under the Sprint Nextel Corp. brand…

    The iPhone has until recently been restricted to contract-based plans. Now, the floodgates appear open for the phone to enter the prepaid, no-contract market, which is aimed at people with low incomes and poor credit. However, the high initial cost of the phone is likely to be an obstacle. Virgin Mobile sells other smartphones for as little as $80.

    If the prepaid iPhone 4 gains some traction, what’s to prevent Apple from releasing the iPhone 3GS at lower prices? I disagree that this initial foray is “aimed at people with low incomes and poor credit”. Such people are not likely to be able to afford the initial cost. It is the smart, budget-conscious consumer that will buy these phones.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 07 June 2012 02:41 PM #6

    Agree Drew Bear, the low incomers are stuck with the contracts while the best and cheapest option is the outright purchase.  But isn’t Apple Inc./Cricket/Virgin subsidizing a teensy bit?  Maybe Apple doesn’t have to wait for full payment this way?

         
  • Posted: 07 June 2012 09:11 PM #7

    Drew Bear - 07 June 2012 04:00 PM

    Virgin Mobile gets iPhone for $549, $30 per month

    That means the phone, plus two years of service, will cost $1,269, excluding taxes. That’s nearly $800 less than a subscriber would pay for the same phone, an iPhone 4 with 8 gigabytes of memory, if buying it under the Sprint Nextel Corp. brand…

    The iPhone has until recently been restricted to contract-based plans. Now, the floodgates appear open for the phone to enter the prepaid, no-contract market, which is aimed at people with low incomes and poor credit. However, the high initial cost of the phone is likely to be an obstacle. Virgin Mobile sells other smartphones for as little as $80.

    If the prepaid iPhone 4 gains some traction, what’s to prevent Apple from releasing the iPhone 3GS at lower prices? I disagree that this initial foray is “aimed at people with low incomes and poor credit”. Such people are not likely to be able to afford the initial cost. It is the smart, budget-conscious consumer that will buy these phones.

    I could be wrong, but aren’t these pre paid carriers CDMA?  There is no CDMA 3GS phone to release in that case.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 07 June 2012 09:16 PM #8

    zulu - 07 June 2012 05:41 PM

    But isn’t Apple Inc./Cricket/Virgin subsidizing a teensy bit?

    The unsubsidized price of the iPhone 4 directly from Apple is also $549, so Virgin doesn’t seem to be subsidizing. Cricket, however, offers the 4 at $400 and the 4S at $500, which is ~$150 subsidy for either phone.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 07 June 2012 09:29 PM #9

    I like GSM because that is what is used in most of the world today.

    List of United States wireless communications service providers (in alphabetical order). According to the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA), there are over 180 facilities-based wireless service providers in the United States.


    The top 8 wireless telecommunications service providers in the United States, from largest to smallest by the number of current subscribers, are:

    Verizon Wireless (108.7 million)[1]
    AT&T Mobility (103.2 million)[2]
    Sprint Nextel (55 million)[3]
    T-Mobile USA (34 million)[4][5]
    TracFone Wireless (17.75 million)[6]
    MetroPCS (9 million)[7]
    U.S. Cellular (6 million)[8]
    Cricket Wireless (6 million)[9]

    Of these, AT&T and T-Mobile use the GSM standard, while the other providers on the list, with the exception of TracFone, use CDMA. TracFone uses a combination of both GSM and CDMA.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_wireless_communications_service_providers

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 08 June 2012 11:45 AM #10

    zulu - 08 June 2012 12:29 AM

    “I like GSM because that is what is used in most of the world today.”

    I like GSM because, AFAIK, GSM is still the only G3 format (in the US, at least) which allows simultaneous voice and data transmission (“talk & surf”) on smartphones;  AFAIK, CDMA G3 allows only “talk OR surf”.

    [ Edited: 08 June 2012 11:49 AM by BurmaYank ]

    Signature

    Dave J.

    - my most favorite Chinese Cookie fortune:  “Stiff in opinion; always in the wrong.”

    - my second most favorite Chinese Cookie fortune:  “There is something seeing and there is something being seen.”

         
  • Posted: 08 June 2012 02:34 PM #11

    I’m presuming that you could use an unlocked iPhone 4 with these services? If you had the right phone GSM or CDMA.

    Could see a lot of hand me down iPhone 4/sold iPhones 4 being moved to these cheaper pre paid services.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 09 June 2012 10:11 AM #12

    molsonite - 08 June 2012 05:34 PM

    I’m presuming that you could use an unlocked iPhone 4 with these services? If you had the right phone GSM or CDMA.

    Could see a lot of hand me down iPhone 4/sold iPhones 4 being moved to these cheaper pre paid services.

    Exactly!  And now that Virgin, Cricket are offering only the ‘unlimited’ talk and text idea, the biggies will follow with their own ‘unlimited’ plans.  After all, they are popular, and do bring more money.  I think the era of your sm?rgasb?rd of minute plans is ending, where you sign up for 450 minutes, use 600, and then get raped for the overcharges.  How long did it take us to get sick of that?  They’ve been using that trick since the dawn of cell phones.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 07 September 2012 10:55 AM #13

    Gruber:

    I wouldn’t count the 3GS out. I presume it will indeed lose its spot as the free-with-contract phone in the lineup, to be replaced by the iPhone 4, and the 4S will take over the $99-with-contract spot. But what about the low-cost prepaid market? If Apple wants to start taking market share in that market, my guess is they’d do with the 3GS.

    That’s a lower-margin market than what Apple typically targets, but otherwise, they’re ceding it to Android. In the PC market, Apple ceded the low-cost segment to Windows, so perhaps they’re willing to do the same thing with phones. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

    http://daringfireball.net/linked/2012/09/06/iphones-survive