Anyone who wants to pay less each month for a phone than what the major carriers are offering will need to look at prepaid carriers.
Cricket iPhone 5 from $105 only
Up to now one of the main problems with buying a high end smartphone has been the high cost which you have to pay out up front, if you don’t want a contract. The idea of paying $650 for the iPhone 5 is hard for many, even when the device would cost less than buying it subsidised for $200 with a carrier over the long run.
However Fierce Wireless are saying that some smaller carriers are now bringing in unique payment plans, which helps to cut down the cost of buying a high end device such as the iPhone 5.
Cricket is allowing customers to get their hands on the iPhone 5 for $105 upfront, with a loan and one month of service. This means that you would save $395 compared to what you would have to pay with them. If you pay off the loan in the 90 day period, the loan is interest free. If not then you have nine months to pay off the loan with interest added on. The wireless plan is $55 with Cricket and this comes with messaging, unlimited voice and 2.5GB for data at full speed. A postpaid plan with Verizon costs $100 per month.
At the moment Cricket are offering the finance plans in select markets and they plan on expanding in the New Year. MetroPCS are also offering the prepaid plans, however details of this have not been disclosed at the moment.
There are drawbacks to the plans. They don’t come with contracts; however you still have to pay for the iPhone 5 in full. Paying a loan means your monthly bill is more, and this could mean that you would have to pay more than you would with a wireless carrier, at least for a while. However you do save once you have paid for the device. Bear in mind that you would have to pay roaming fees if you were outside the coverage area of Cricket and MetroPCS on your iPhone 5.
Payment plans are not just with the smaller carriers as T-Mobile announced that they would be doing away with subsidised devices and will allow customers to pay monthly on Value plans for phones. T-Mobile however does have a two year contract with the plans and the repayments are over 20 months, again with no interest. Customers could save money if they do this and then they would be paying a lower rate, once the phone has been paid for. T-Mobile will be offering the iPhone next year only.
The negative part is that customers may be put off from signing a payment plan just as much as they are at paying out a large up front sum of money. The subsidised iPhone 5 costs more, however it is easier to understand for most people. However smaller carriers are providing an alternative way to get your hands on the latest device without you having to pay out the full cost upfront.
Earlier today, we reported that Walmart is offering the iPhone 5 on contract for $127, the lowest we’ve seen yet for this model.