A Prepaid iPhone to be Released?
First came God, then Steve Jobs, then came the iPhone. We all know that the iPhone is an amazing and beautiful thing.
Whilst every little rumor heard about the next upgrade or new iPhone release is leapt on with glee, there is one part of the market that Apple needs to, and indeed may be looking into entering.
A huge percentage of the world, and an estimated 70 million Americans use pre-paid phone plans, (otherwise known as pay-as-you go), rather than what is the main billing/buying method here in the states, and Apple’s only official method -post-paid, or simply put- chain yourselves to a carrier for a few years, then, good consumer, you get an iphone.
The advantage of the post pay contract is that, yeah, you get a ‘free’ iPhone. But it’s not really free is it? No matter how much you use your phone, you pay the same rate every month, it involves credit checks, early termination fees are applicable, there is no discourse if you happen to lose your job or can’t pay the monthly fee anymore. Prepaid, is easy, you pay for what you use, and if you can’t afford it one month, well, you find out where the closest payphone is.
There were rumors last year, and continuing this year that Apple is looking at releasing a very basic iPhone specifically for the pre-paid market, but until then- there are still options.
But… surely you can’t expect us to pay for an iPhone outright? Right?
Yeah, you’re right. Unless you’re lucky enough to be able to drop a few hunnids to do this, there is a huge phone market on eBay. You can buy cheap second hand/as new iPhones everyday, or if you’re really smart, wait until just after the new release- everyone wants to get rid of their stinky old iPhone so they can get the new one.
Stinky old iPhone? It’s fine! eBay is a buyers market, and if you don’t get what you paid for you’ll be looked after. But most of the time, you get a great, recycled, as-new iPhone. It’s even environmentally friendly! Kind of.
Now to the tricky part. Most iPhone’s on eBay are going to be locked. This means that you may not be able to use your previous carrier.
Insurmountable Problems? Nah.
Yes, most of the iPhones from the US on eBay are locked, but you always have the option of looking further afield- find an international seller as they tend to have unlocked ones- think Hong-Kong, Australia, Greece.
Walmart now sells pre-paid Sim cards by StraightTalk. $45 a month unlimited voice and Data and No contract. If you have picked up a locked iPhone, they also apparently even show you how to unlock it.
Verizon, T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile also offer pre-paid sim packages for unlocked phones.
Another option is H2O Wireless’ iPhone unlimited plan. H2o offers 3 different plans ( $40/ month unlimited talk and text, $50/month unlimited talk, text and 250mb data or $60/month unlimited talk, text and 3G/4G.) and you don’t need to unlock your iPhone.
The great thing about this is that the technology becomes available to more people, and until Apple makes an iPhone that is cheap enough to become part of the pre-paid market- be smart, look at your options, and you can still have an iPhone, just on your own terms.