The US carrier Cricket Wireless has begun offering pre-paid iPhones on its network, allowing consumers to purchase an iPhone up front and then utilize pre-paid voice and data plans. The new offering means that consumers can frontload the cost of their iPhone plan, with a 16GB iPhone 4S requiring a payment of $499 up front. Cricket can then offer a $55 pre-paid plan with unlimited talk, text and media messaging. There is also 2.5GB of mobile data included and no contract to enter in to.
Cricket wireless is a relatively new carrier having only been established in 1999 although it has managed to amass a customer base in excess of 6.2 million in the US. The carrier utilizes the Sprint 3G network service meaning that customers purchasing the Cricket iPhone will essentially have Sprint coverage.