Boost Mobile has been rumored to start selling the iPhone as a pre-paid phone starting this September. This follows yesterday’s news that Cricket Communications were rolling out pre-paid iPhones starting later this month.
Boost are rumored to be able to offer both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S in early September; on its pre-paid tariffs. At the moment Boost’s handset range is heavily dominated by Android devices so the addition of the iPhone would be a welcome change.
Boost is an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) that runs on Sprint’s network so the iPhones will all be CDMA versions. Boost currently offers a popular $50 a Month Unlimited plan that includes unlimited talk, text and data. That cost can be reduced further if a customer has a good payment record.
This is a just a rumor for now but it is interesting to see more options for customers who are looking for an iPhone and do not wish to take out a long term contract.
It is common practice in Europe and is the way that I have chosen to go. I bought an unlocked iPhone 4S from Apple and I have a 30 day rolling SIM only plan. The plan gives me 2000 talk minutes, 5000 SMS messages and real unlimited data. The monthly cost is just £25.00 ($38).
Of course, September is getting quite close to the rumored launch date of the next generation iPhone 5. Apple has traditionally lowered the cost of older iPhones when newer ones come on the market. The iPhone 5 might carry a good-sized price-tag if bought off-contract and up-front, but the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 should be cheaper by then as well.
Whether or not Apple chooses to keep the 2009 iPhone 3GS on the market any longer, and at what price, is the question. While a very inexpensive way to get customers onto the iPhone platform and still one of the best selling smartphones in North America, it's also the last device on the market without a Retina display, FaceTime camera, and other current iPhone staples.