Cricket has released what is no doubt its most popular phone yet. The nascent prepaid mobile phone service provider has rolled out its version of the iPhone, making the device accessible to a brand new market.
The problem with the concept of an iPhone without a service contract is that carriers like Cricket appeal to customers with bad credit and not a lot of money.
Nevertheless, people were lining up outside Cricket stores before they opened to be the first to get their hands on the device.
So because customers also don't qualify for the massive subsidies that tend to drop the upfront price down to as low as $200.
For those with an inability or lack of desire to get a traditional carrier contract, the 16 GB iPhone 4S costs $500 out of pocket. The 8 GB one from Cricket will "only" set you back a cool $400. The plan is $55 per month for unlimited calling and teting.
Users can consume as much data as they want, but after hitting a limiting 2.3 GB, speeds will start to markedly slow down. Of course this is a huge deal for Apple, but the real winner here is Cricket.
The number of iPhone customers won't swell too much on a comparative basis, but Cricket's user base is bound to skyrocket. The iPhone just continues to add new carrier partners.
This idea of phones being carrier agnostic may be an interesting new trend. Samsung is trying a similar strategy with the Galaxy S III.