iPhone 4S finally goes pre-paid on U.S. carrier Cricket

Five years since the launch of the original iPhone and Apple's holy device finally, finally lands on a U.S. carrier with a pre-paid plan. That's right, an official way to get a contract-free iPhone and reasonably priced unlimited everything plan without any jailbreaking required.

Starting June 22, Cricket will let customers purchase an iPhone 4 or 4S without any contracts.

With the carrier's $55 Smartphone Plan/per month, customers will get unlimited calling, text and data (capped at 3GB). That's a helluva a plan, considering I pay nearly $100 for a barebones iPhone with contract to AT&T (and I only get 450 minutes and 1500 texts).

Sounds like an awesome deal, right? Well...there's the other matter on hand: the price of the iPhone. To go pre-paid, you'll need to pay either $500 for a 16GB iPhone 4S or $400 for an 8GB iPhone 4.

It might appear to be a lot to cough up for a smartphone (subsidized pricing only creates the illusion that the iPhone is worth $200), but do the math, and in the long run, it's still hundreds of dollars worth of savings a year than buying an iPhone with a subsidized price and two-year contract.

At last the U.S. carrier shackle is off! No more contracts!

Cricket, via TNW

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