It looks like U.S. wireless prepaid carrier Cricket Wireless won’t be the only one in the pre-paid market to offer Apple’s iconic iOS smartphones. Following news that Cricket Wireless would partially subsidize the cost of the iPhone models it offers users on its prepaid networks–on prepaid, it is customary for customers to pay the full retail price of the phone–in exchange for a locked device, it appears that Sprint-owned Boost Mobile may also follow a similar strategy come this September.
According to a report on TechnoBuffalo, the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S will be available on Boost Mobile starting in September, though device pricing is still uncertain at this point. It’s not clear if Boost will follow Cricket’s lead in a partially subsidized iPhone on prepaid or if the carrier will force customers to pay the full retail price of the iPhone without a contract. Boost Mobile’s parent Sprint currently offers the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S on its post-paid Now Network.
Interestingly, the devices’ debut on Boost in September may give indication to when Apple would release its next-generation iPhone 5. With a new iPhone release, historically that means that last year’s models would get discounted. This would make the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 even more affordable without a contract.
Sprint has been trickling down some high-end Android smartphones from its lineup to its prepaid brands Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile U.S.A. The move would now allow its prepaid user base to now be able to own an iPhone.
On Boost Mobile, pricing is more affordable with a $50 per month unlimited plan with ‘shrinkage.’ Shrinkage rewards customers in good standing–those who pay their bills on time–by reducing their monthly bill in $5 increments until they reach a cap of paying just $35 per month for unlimited talk, text, and web.
With a bill as low as $35 per month, I am not sure it really makes much sense to go post-paid and pay a bill in excess of $70 per month for non-unlimited to carriers like Verizon Wireless, AT&T, or even Boost parent Sprint. Depending on device pricing, Boost Mobile has Cricket’s $55 per month unlimited plan beat.