Prepaid IPhone 5: Should You Pay Premium Price for This Phone?

The iPhone 5 is now available on several prepaid phone company unlimited plans. Why does this matter? This matters because it may save you money. Prepaid phone plans have been around for as long as cell phones have been around, but for much of this time they have been associated with criminal activity (featured heavily in shows like The Sopranos and often referred to as “burners,” since they require no identification of who is using the phone) or have been seen by many people as “lower class” cell phones only for people with bad credit.

But things are changing and as prepaid phones become more commonplace, some of the best phones in the business are available with mainstream prepaid companies. Today, if you wanted to, you could own a prepaid iPhone 5 or a Samsung Galaxy SIII from several different prepaid companies. Virgin Mobile (Sprint-owned) and Straight Talk Wireless (associated with Tracfone and America Movil) all have the iPhone 5 in their rosters as well as other high end Androids like Samsung Galaxy SIII. Typically, you need to use these phones with an unlimited plan, which are not exactly cheap, but are typically not as expensive as on contract unlimited plans. We briefly focus on Straight Talk and Virgin Mobile in this article.

iPhone 5 with Straight Talk Wireless

Right now, iPhone 5 (with 16 gigabytes of memory) costs $650 from Straight Talk Wireless with the Unlimited wireless plan, which costs $45 per month. The phone comes in white or black. Straight Talk has really been pumping up its phone selection lately, adding not only iPhone 5, but also iPhone 4 and 4S. These models are less expensive since they are older phones.

Quick Aside: iPhone 5 Specs

iPhone 5 has a 4-inch Retina display (widely regarded as beautiful and fun to use), 8 megapixel camera,1080p HD video recording, Siri (the sometimes annoying personal assistant), Facetime, and IOS 6. It is truly a beautiful phone that feels incredibly light and has the stylish design we’ve come to expect from Apple.

iPhone 5 with Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile has the iPhone 5 available for $ # gigabytes or memory). For the 32 gigabytes of memory will set you back $649.99 while 64 gb will cost you $100 more than that figure. The unlimited plan from Virgin Mobile has three tiers from which you can choose to use this phone. For $35, you get 300 anytime minutes and unlimited text and data. For $45 per month, you get 1200 anytime minutes as well as unlimited text and data. For $55, you get unlimited everything. The nice thing about the iPhone 5 with Virgin Mobile is you have choices. With Straight Talk, you can only use the blanket unlimited plan for $45. With Virgin, if you don’t talk much on your phone (like a lot of people these days) you can select the $35 plan and still get unlimited text and data. I like having choices.

Prepaid iPhone 5 is More Expensive than on Contract

The 16 GB memory iPhone 5 costs $650 from both of these prepaid providers, which is quite expensive for any phone, in my opinion. But phones cost a lot of money. When you purchase a contract phone, you’re still paying for the phone even though you’re getting a subsidy from the company. Believe me, they’re going to make their money off of you – not that this is a bad thing. It’s just how it is. With prepaid, you typically benefit by paying a smaller monthly fee. However, you may have worse coverage – or better coverage. It depends on where you are located in the country and it depends on your phone habits.

Any way you look at it iPhones are expensive. They are a luxury as are all high end smartphones. A prepaid plan may be a great way for you to get an iPhone less expensively–especially if you are okay with getting a model that’s a year or two older. This is one of the best ways to save money in the prepaid phone world.

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