Apple's original iPhone plan

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by macdaveaustin, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. macdaveaustin macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2007
    I got to thinking about the model that Apple had originally seemed to want for the iPhone: no contract, just buy the phone outright.

    Well, there is a cell phone company here in the US that is already doing exactly that. Cricket. You buy the phone (Motorola, Kyocera, or UTStarcom models only) with no rebates or contract. No background check. Unlimited "anytime" minutes, unlimited US long distance and unlimited text/picture/IM starting at $40/month. Or get the top of the line $60 plan and you also get unlimited coverage in all cricket markets, voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, 3-way calling and 200 nationwide roaming minutes.

    Not that their network is all that great, I'm sure. But the model works. They continue to grow, and are very popular here in Texas (especially amongst the Spanish-speaking communities). ;)

    I hope Apple reconsiders their plan after the first iPhone launch proves to be a greater success then even the most optimistic forcasters have predicted.

  2. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Virgin mobile does that too. Unfortunately their phones aren't very nice. They're serviceable, that's it.
  3. mattscott306 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2007
    The only problem is you'd have to buy the iPhone at its full value, which last I heard was rumored to be over a grand. Most of the people who jump on those kind of deals that you mentioned are buying older phone models that don't cost nearly as much.
  4. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    I hope Apple do a "Shuffle" style phone like that. Cut out the mini computer, leave a music player and phone in a single device and sell it cheap on one of them kind of networks. No doubt there will be short series of these iPhones much like the iPod, and probably the :apple: TV will follow suit too.
  5. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    Here are the problems with Cricket and similar services:

    1. The service is either (a) local-only, and unlimited usage, to cater to a different demographic and usage pattern that would not be profitable otherwise or (b) nationwide, and limited usage, which would require either massive roaming agreements as an independent carrier, or being a MVNO or reselling another carrier's service rebreanded, any one of which would be expensive for the consumer or not profitable for the carrier.

    2. If there is no contract, and no credit check to verify suitability for that contract, then there can be no subsidy toward the cost of the phone. This results in a scenario where either (a) the handset is $150-200 more than a consumer expects, as expectations of value are currently set in place by contract-based, subsidy-providing carriers, or (b) the handset is older, less-featured, less advanced, less aesthetically-pleasing, and otherwise undesirable, but at an affordable price due to obsolescence. Neither one of these are exactly desirable positions.

    3. The service, due to its unlimited nature and infinite calling opportunities (yet finite tower antennas, switches, and capacity), may find itself overloaded. This problem is compounded when the service is targetting or encounters a high uptake from populations that do not want contracts: those not old enough to sign contracts, those who have bad credit, those who have messed up with wireless phones before (possibly due to overage and unpaid final bills), and those with usage patterns that far exceed any affordable limited-usage plan. Sometimes in areas where large amounts of these users exist there are further capacity issues.

    That's not even mentioning their often lower profit margin, probably due to the above reasons, and how that affects customer support (in-person, online, and over the phone), feature changes and technology updates, inter-carrier compatibility with new features, or their pre-paid nature in some cases (pay before the month, rather than after), several small disadvantages.

    It is for these issues that I am glad Apple did not choose to either support any carrier using this model nor create their own.

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