Will Apple’s New Prepaid Plan Options Boost In-Store iPhone Sales?
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Stores in the U.S. will soon begin offering prepaid and month-to-month carrier plans for customers that purchase unsubsidized iPhones, according to an unnamed source cited by 9to5Mac.
Customers who currently choose to buy a full-price unlocked iPhone at the Apple Store either have to take the device to a carrier store in order to activate it, or bring their own previously activated SIM card with them. However, after the new program launches in the last week of June, unlocked iPhone customers will be able to activate their devices in-store with a prepaid plan.
According to 9to5Mac’s source, Apple is teaming up with AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) for the new plan options. AT&T will offer a $60 per month prepaid plan with 2.5GB data and unlimited talk and text through its “GoPhone” activation kit. T-Mobile will offer two different options: a $50 per month 1GB plan and a $70 per month 5GB plan, via its prepaid SIM cards.
Although Apple has traditionally partnered with wireless carriers that subsidize the relatively high cost of an iPhone with a standard two-year service contract, contract-free smartphones have been steadily growing in popularity in the U.S. As a result, Apple has expanded the iPhone to several prepaid wireless service providers over the past year, including Straight Talk Wireless and NET10 Wireless.