Apple’s iPhone, now off contract

If reluctance to commit to a wireless contract has kept you from getting an iPhone, you finally have a month-to-month option on the table. Cricket Wireless, a part of Leap Wireless, announced Thursday that it will be the first pre-paid carrier in the United States to offer the phone to its customers.

The company will begin pre-selling the phone on June 15; the devices will go on sale on June 22.

Previously, if you wanted an iPhone you had two choices: Sign up for a contract, or pay a whole lot more for an unlocked version of the iPhone.

Cricket will be offering the iPhone for the subsidized price of $399.99 for an 8 GB iPhone 4 or $499.99 for a 16GB iPhone 4S. That’s still more than users would pay on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or any of the many regional carriers that offer the iPhone — but still much less the cost of an unlocked phone from Apple. An unlocked iPhone 4 costs $549.99 on Apple’s site, while an unlocked 16GB 4S will set you back $649.99.

Users will pay $55 per month for their plan, which comes with unlimited voice and text. Customers also get data with the plan, though they may see slower data speeds past 2.3 GB.

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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