Why Everyone Should Seriously Consider Making Cricket Their Next iPhone Carrier

Why Everyone Should Seriously Consider Making Cricket Their Next iPhone Carrier

You can save over $500 in the first two years by getting your next iPhone from Cricket.

Owning an iPhone is a great thing, but the plans sure aren’t. Favoring the carriers more than the consumer, up until now, if you wanted to use an iPhone in the United States, you had to sign yourself up to have your bank account drained for nearly $100 a month for the next twenty-four months.

Last week’s announcement that Cricket Wireless was entering the iPhone game radically changes the carrier landscape in the United States, at least as far as we customers are concerned. The prepaid carrier isn’t some regional oddjob: they service $7 million customers in all fifty states. For $55 a month, you get unlimited voice, unlimited data, unlimited texts… and no contract. The only rub? You have to lay out $500 for the iPhone up front.

It’s worth it. I decided to sit down with my calculator and figure out how much users can save if they get their next iPhone through Cricket instead of one of AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. The answer? A LOT. Here’s the data.

AT&TVerizonSprintCricket
Minutes$39.99 (450)$39.99 (450)$69.99 (Unlimited)$55.00 (Unlimited)
Texting$20$20$0$0
Data$30 (3GB)$30 (2GB)$10 (Unlimited)$0 (Unlimited)
Activation$36$35$0$0
iPhone 4S (16GB)$199.99$199.99$199.99$499.99
2-Year Total$2395.79$2394.79$2119.75$1819.99

A couple of notes of explanation. In the above chart, we decided to not nickel-and-dime the big carriers. You can get cheaper plans with Verizon and at AT&T, but these are outlier cases when it comes to usability. We decided that 450 minutes, unlimited texting and at least 2GB of data was the bare minimum service most people expect when it comes to their carrier.

Either way, it’s clear that the Cricket deal is a big one. The bare minimum most people will save if they go with Cricket for their next iPhone is $520 over the course of the contract. That’s more than the cost of buying the unsubsidized iPhone (in fact, according to the above data, you’ll make back what you originally spent on the unsubsidized iPhone by the end of the first year).

Cricket’s not going to be a perfect fit for everyone. Most prepaid carriers have slower 3G speeds and smaller service areas, so there will be the occasional annoyance. However, these numbers speak for themselves: Cricket is a serious challenger to buying your next iPhone from the Big Three. If you’re willing to sacrifice a few kb/s on 3G speeds to not be locked down on a contract, and if you can afford $500 up front, Cricket’s a no-brainer.

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  • Peter Dudycz

    They are CDMA, and their coverage may be complete crap. YMMV.

  • BarryLoy

    Is there anyway to transfer a Verizon iPhone 4 to Cricket? That would be a huge advantage for current Verizon iPhone customers who are out of contract.

  • Tim Verpoorten

    Doesn’t Cricket have a Web site? No links in your story.. :-(

  • joewaylo

    Is there anyway to transfer a Verizon iPhone 4 to Cricket? That would be a huge advantage for current Verizon iPhone customers who are out of contract.

    It should be possible. An iPhone 4 and 4S are “world phone” devices. They support CDMA and GSM in multiple frequencies except T-Mobile at 2G Edge/GPRS.
    Depending on what frequencies are compatible with Cricket when official, they should be able to port it after your phone is wiped clean.
    —————
    Only problem I see with Cricket though is the spotty coverage. As they stated it only works in select areas. If I go out of coverage, then I have no 911 ability or “My wife has an emergency” ability.

  • joewaylo

    Doesn’t Cricket have a Web site? No links in your story.. :-(

    http://www.mycricket.com  Official site

  • mr_bee

    Right.  “Everyone” as in “everyone in my country”…   FAIL. 

  • Tallest_Skil

    Hope they’re paying you handsomely for that title. And pitch…

    They are CDMA, and their coverage may be complete crap. YMMV.

    So would GSM providers. CDMA has the best coverage where I live.

  • Rowanova

    Many of these “secondary” carriers are somehow associated with one of the larger carriers. Example: Boost Mobile is affiliated with Sprint. What is the story on Cricket? Are they a stand alone carrier? If not they must be associated with Verizon or Sprint, I’m assuming? 

  • Tim Lanfair

    Is there anyway to transfer a Verizon iPhone 4 to Cricket? That would be a huge advantage for current Verizon iPhone customers who are out of contract.

    Ill bet cricket will have some software to flash your verizon phone to cricket,, thats my bet on this whole thing, there are already other companies flashing to there service,, this would fall in line

  • rolyfbaby

    I have my iPhone 4S on StraightTalk, paying $45/month, fully unlimited (2GB soft cap on data), and AT&T service so its super fast 3G!

  • BWinski

    I’m in… T-Mumble can die a slow death without me… I’m tired of waiting… ATT – NO WANKERS ALLOWED.

  • Timothy Williamson

    Seems like a great option, but I think I read somewhere that they won’t be getting the “new iPhone”.

  • Krista Nelson

    You can learn more at http://www.mycricket.com/iphone

     

  • Justin Gilbert

    I dunno, I loved Cricket when I was on it in the city I lived in before, but I was burned by Sprint’s “unlimited” offer.  It was unlimited crap data.  Horrible speeds compared to Verizon or ATT.  ATT is crazy expensive though….so I took the route the masses probably won’t.  I jailbroke, unlocked with a Gevey card, and went over to Red Pocket for $60 a month.  Its ATT’s service but $40 bucks cheaper and at least you know your getting fast speeds.

  • JayCoolXD

    Ok I’m a cricket customer (For 3-4 years now) So let me let you in on information about preformance and you decide if it’s worth it for you. Because Data wise they are NOT up to par.

    Cricket is mostly “Wideband” CDMA. This network has coverage in most major areas. including major cities. however when traveling “to Las Vegas for example” by car. your service will be out in certain areas that are not majorly populated. The same is true for other smaller areas. It’s getting better but by far cricket has more limited coverage (They run their own network and give you unlimted compared to Net10 or others). But I’ve found they have been adding cities very rapidly. So make sure they work in your area and where you work or drive to.

    DATA! this is a big one. Cricket has 3G data It’s NOT REALLY “UNLIMITED”. I’ve found my 3G data to be very SLOW No matter where I am (In any City, State ETC) . (Not because it’s 3G, But Because it’s just very slow and feels throttled or bogged down!) 

    You will see about 1.3 Mbps Downstream (Probably less) on 3G. Compare this to 3-6 on other 3G networks. The upload speed is decent 2-3 Mbps at times.

    The WORST part: Even with a pathetic speed of 1.3 Mbps on 3G YOU ARE LIMITED TO 2.4 GB A MONTH ON 3G! After that you are “DROPPED TO 2G SPEEDS” speeds which I’ve found nearly unusable. (Dailup like, or worse lots of lag.) This really bothers me. Not that you could ever rack up to 2.4 GB because of how dang slow cricket is. But still that is a dumb limit! especially since the speeds are so low (And obviously throttled)

    I’m at a crossroad at the moment. I’m thinking of going to T-Mobile if cricket doesn’t clean up this dumb data situation. It’s slow and very limited. I could live with it if the limit wasn’t so dang low. That being said Cool to see the iPhone on cricket. I might stick with them because I’m pretty happy with everything else.

    BEWARE iPhone Cricket Buyers of this stuff I’ve mentioned. If you don’t believe me, look it up! If your not a heavy data user and they work in your area they may be just for you.

    Facebook, Emails , and other stuff is usable on cricket data but youtube is very slow as well as downloads just beware. Cricket is pretty great otherwise.

  • JayCoolXD

    Many of these “secondary” carriers are somehow associated with one of the larger carriers. Example: Boost Mobile is affiliated with Sprint. What is the story on Cricket? Are they a stand alone carrier? If not they must be associated with Verizon or Sprint, I’m assuming? 

    Thats true most of the time. However not in crickets case. They run there own networks.(for the most part I Belive) They use a unique “Wideband” CDMA network thats why there isn’t coverage in all areas.

    I don’t consider them a “secondary” carrier but then thats just me. I feel they are better then Net10 or TracFone (Not coverage wise but plan wise)

  • ashstn

    There is so much talk about the IPHONE and Cricket…..just one problem.
    1st – let me say I was with Cricket for many years.
    Here is the issue – customer service.  THERE IS no one worse at customer service than Cricket.  There are no American based customer service reps – so you will be talking to India; China or PHillipines.  Hope you get someone who has passable English.
    Cricket is very inexpensive because they have terrible terribel customer service.  Customer service at Cricket is incompetent; lazy; and plain rude.  Go into one of their store, and you will be shocked how you are treated like a number – basically a piece of poop.
    So this is the problem – TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE. 

  • RmcTech

    This seems to be a big deal out there. Means a lot to me particularly, as I run a mobile device repair company. Hmm! This could be good. I also see it possibly knocking out some of the bigger guys (even though you said they’ll have those quality annoyances). Interesting. 

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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