Virgin Mobile has today announced that it will be launching the iPhone 5 on Friday, June 28. The handset will be available on its Beyond Talk plans, which offer unlimited 3G and 4G LTE data and unlimited messaging for $35 per month. Prices for the iPhone 5 itself start at $549.99.
Hey, T-Mobile is finally an iPhone carrier now! Not only that, they’re a pretty competitive one, offering you an iPhone 5 for just $100 down and $20 a month over 24 months in what the nation’s fourth-largest carrier is calling a “no bullshit” plan. If you buy an iPhone 5 at T-Mobile, you can leave at any time as long as you pay off your device; otherwise, your service is provided month by month.
Sounds pretty great, but how competitive is T-Mobile’s new iPhone plan compared to the competition really? We compared the cheapest T-Mobile iPhone 5 plan you can get against the 24 month cost of getting one from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Cricket, Virgin Mobile and Straight Talk. The result? T-Mobile is one of the cheaper plans around… but it’s not the cheapest.
Retail giant Walmart announced today that it will be offering a prepaid iPhone in its stores starting January 11th. The iPhone will run on a $45 to $60 per month no contract, unlimited talk, text and data plan from the Straight Talk reseller, exclusively through Walmart.
Walmart is also offering a no interest fixed-monthly payment financing plan for the iPhone, if purchased with the Walmart credit card. Yes, you will be able to finance an iPhone 5 with unlimited talk, text, and data through Walmart (assuming approved credit) and Straight Talk ( a TracFone brand) for a whopping $70 a month. No word on how much you’ll actually be paying for the device after the financing has completed, though. This is a zero percent financing deal, so the $25 will never go up, and will end once the full cost of the iPhone is paid off.
Cricket has become the iPhone 5’s first prepaid carrier after announcing today that it will be stocking Apple’s latest smartphone in “select Cricket markets” from September 28. That’s a week after the device launches on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, but it’ll be worth the wait if you’re determined to avoid a lengthy contract.
Since I’m so excited, we’re going to front load this review: if you don’t want to sign a contract to have an iPhone, Straight Talk is the best prepaid carrier you can possibly choose in the United States. And even if you have no problem with signing a two year contract with one of the big three, you should seriously consider Straight Talk: you get the same quality of coverage and network speeds as if you signed up with AT&T for hundreds of dollars less.