iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S launch on pre-paid Cricket Wireless today

Cricket Wireless, a pre-paid provider, is hoping to tempt iPhone and potential iPhone customers by offering the Apple phone with a pre-paid $55 per month bill with no contract beginning today. Users get 2.3 gigs of data (internet usage, email, text) included at full speed and will have throttled speed data after that.

The catch is you have to buy the phone outright. That would be $500 for the 16 gig iPhone 4S and $400 for the 8 gig iPhone 4. And understand a new Apple iPhone is coming this fall.

Will Cricket get it at the same time? No clue.

But even with a high upfront cost, Cricket’s plan could lead to a significant savings for individual customers, and maybe not so much for folks of family plans.

Consider a two-year contract with AT&T for iPhone will run you $199 for the phone and $120 per month, before tax, for unlimited minutes, 3 gigabytes of data per month and unlimited texting.

Over a two-year period, that’s a total charge of more than $3,000. On Cricket, even with the $500 iPhone 4S, you’re paying about $1,700 for the same thing.

Cricket’s network isn’t as robust as AT&T’s and probably won’t be as fast. You’re also getting a two-year-old iPhone 4 or a soon to be replaced iPhone 4S, but the savings could be substantial. And with Cricket, there’s no credit check. You pay your bill ahead of time each month. No pay? No service.

Here’s the official release:

SAN DIEGO — May 31, 2012 — Cricket Communications, Inc., a leading provider of innovative and value-driven wireless services, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leap Wireless International, Inc. (NASDAQ: LEAP), announced today that it will be the first pre-paid carrier in the US to offer iPhone to its customers. Beginning on Friday, June 22, Cricket will offer iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 with its $55 per-month, all-inclusive unlimited talk, text and data plan.

iPhone 4S is the most amazing iPhone yet, packed with incredible features including Apple’s dual-core A5 chip for blazing fast performance and stunning graphics; an all-new camera with advanced optics; full 1080p HD resolution video recording; and Siri, an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. iPhone 4S comes with iOS 5.1, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system; and iCloud, a breakthrough set of free cloud services that work with your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all your devices.

“Our customers want the best products available and we are excited to bring iPhone to our pre-paid consumers with an industry leading $55 per-month service plan,” said Doug Hutcheson, president and chief executive officer, Leap Wireless International, Inc. “Launching iPhone is a major milestone for us and we are proud to offer iPhone customers attractive nationwide coverage, a robust 3G data network and a value-packed, no-contract plan.”

iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 will be available in Cricket company-owned stores and select dealers in nearly 60 markets, online at www.mycricket.com/iphone and over the phone at 800-853-7682. Starting today, customers can receive more information on the launch by registering at www.mycricket.com/iphone. iPhone 4S will be available for $499.99 for the 16GB model and iPhone 4 will be available for $399.99.

Cricket’s service plans feature all-inclusive pricing and easy-to-understand pricing packages with no service fees or overage charges. For customers, that means a bill that doesn’t fluctuate based upon monthly usage. Cricket’s all-inclusive pre-paid smartphone service plan includes:

Monthly Fee

$55

Voice (minutes)

Unlimited

SMS

Unlimited

Data

Unlimited*

iPhone 4S 16GB

$499.99

iPhone 4 8GB

$399.99

* Fair usage policy of 2.3GB per month.

For more information about Cricket’s dynamic service and to check for availability, visit www.mycricket.com. To follow Cricket’s latest news and updates online, visit Facebook at www.facebook.com/cricketwireless and Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cricketnation.

For more information on iPhone 4S, please visit: www.apple.com/iphone

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