Apple revealed the iPhone 5 yesterday alongside the carriers that would be providing consumers with the new phone. It was revealed that the usual suspects - AT&T, Verizon and Sprint - would be offering the 16GB base model for $199 with a two year contract. The announcement failed to mention if there would be a contract free model available to those who don't like signing their life away for two years.
Cricket, noting the decided lack of pre-paid iPhone 5 goodness at Apple's event, sprung into action today with their announcement. The company announced that the iPhone 5 will be available in select Cricket markets on September 28.
No word on price just yet, but Cricket's current price for the iPhone 4S reflect a pre-iPhone 5 world at $499 for the 16GB model. It's assumed that Cricket will discount the iPhone 4S down to $400 and start selling the iPhone 5 for $499. It's a bit pricey, but their iPhone plan is only $55 a month for unlimited talk, text and data.
For comparison's sake, AT&T's individual unlimited plan is $69 a month. That doesn't include the cost of data, but you are getting 4G LTE with AT&T or Verizon. Cricket is only able to offer 3G speeds at this point in time. T-Mobile is also courting iPhone users with unlimited 4G data plans, but it requires that the user buy an unlocked iPhone which starts at $649.
For the best upfront deal, a contract is still the best way to go. A pre-paid iPhone 5, however, would you save you a lot of money in the long run. It really depends on how badly you want 4G LTE speeds.