iPhone: A Prepaid Possibility? - TeamUSCellular

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iPhone: A Prepaid Possibility?

Posted by John Vincent , in US Cellular News and Rumors 31 May 2012 · 5,266 views

iPhone: A Prepaid Possibility? On any given day (or hour), you can venture over to the US Cellular Facebook page and be amused by the dozens of posts asking when USCC will be getting the iPhone, and the anger and hate directed toward those questions by a handful of people. As has been well documented, US Cellular turned down Apple's offer back in 2011, and in hindsight it probably was a good business decision for USCC at the time.

But today, Fierce Wireless is reporting that Cricket provider Leap Wireless will be offering the iPhone as a prepaid option. Leap will begin selling the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 on June 22. The 4S will sell for $499.99 for the 16gb model, and the iPhone 4 will be available in an 8gb model for $399.99. Where things get interesting is in the plan details: $55 a month for unlimited talk, text, and data plan, with data throttling after 2.3gb of data used. (although the article does mention that the plans will be refreshed in the second half of the year - probably meaning the monthly cost will go up)

Could this be a possibility for US Cellular, to carry the iPhone as a prepaid option? From US Cellular's financial standpoint, it doesn't make sense to carry it as a postpaid option. However, as you will find here and on USCC's Facebook page,

"Customers want it" (the iPhone)


...to quote Leap spokesman Greg Lund. Even if you hate Apple, even if you hate the iPhone, you have to admit that this could be a feasible possibility for US Cellular to meet customer demand, avoid churn due to not offering it, and avoid the host of financial problems that could result from selling it postpaid.

Obviously this is all speculation; the article said that "US Cellular has said it was given the chance to sell the iPhone but chose not to offer it because it would not work financially." The article did not specify if that was refering to the previously mentioned postpaid offer, or if it was chance to offer it prepaid.

We will see. It might not ever happen, but then again, you never know. At least there is a glimmer of hope for people who would like the iPhone.



Source: Fierce Wireless

Image: Apple.com






If it's not 4G, USC won't be touching it.

Apple lost. Again.
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John Vincent
May 31 2012 11:56 AM

If it's not 4G, USC won't be touching it.

Apple lost. Again.

I think all one has to do is peruse the forums here and read about the upcoming phones that are being reported as 3G, not 4G, to see that the notion of "if it's not 4G they aren't touching it" doesn't hold water.

If we were talking postpaid, I would agree 100% - postpaid would be a 4G LTE only. But prepaid would be a totally different story, IMO.

And no, Apple really hasn't lost anything from USCC saying no. Tim Cook isn't pacing the floor, wringing his hands because Mary Dillon said no. If anything, it's USCC who's lost customers due to not having it. (but as I stated in the article, it was a good business decision at the time for USCC)

Now to wait for the usual suspect to come in here and regale us with his vast, infinite retail wireless consultant wisdom.
USCC will get the i-phone whether prepaid or not. What phone company does not want a top selling phone in their line-up?

Why not charge a premium price for it? Charge $299 or $399 but make the subsidy equal to that of a top selling android phone.

USCC has 80 million people under their signal coverage and I would suspect that they could gain customers if they had the i-phone. They will also gain customers if they start selling top tier android phones.

I'm an android fan. I have used i-phones when travelling and think it is a fine product.

What I find so funny is the flame wars this subject generates.

By the way we might be all wrong. According to siri neither android or i-phone are the best smartphones on the market....

http://www.yourgadge...-smartphone.htm
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phonegeek20
May 31 2012 12:56 PM
The iPhone 5 has to come out first so don't get your pants in a wad

If it's not 4G, USC won't be touching it.

Apple lost. Again.


I disagree with that. If that were true they wouldnt still be pushing out 3g android phones. Which if you noticed in the rumor forum it is all but official uscc will be launching a version of the droid razr that is 3g only. Which I think is dumb on their part but they are just trying to make us techie geeks happy and be quiet. Which wont work because it doesnt get better then the sgs2 on 3g so whats the point.
I doubt this will happen if it’s pre-pay only. The reason is USCC has a weird set up where prepay and post pay are totally separate. To go from post pay to prepay you have to cannel your post pay account. That would be fine if most people were under contract but with he belief plans making a large amount of USCC customers without contracts it would lose USCC a ton of money as people moved from higher end more expensive plans down to less expensive prepay plans and also they'd lose a bunch of money on customers who still hadn't been into their phones long enough to pay off the subsidy. It works for Cricket because all they have is prepay. It wouldn't work for USCC and if they tried it, it would be a total mess in their systems and cost them a ton of money.
    • John Vincent likes this
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Dark Reality
May 31 2012 03:57 PM

If it's not 4G, USC won't be touching it.

Apple lost. Again.


...Unless it's Motorola, HTC, Huawei, Samsung, LG, or... did I forget anyone? ;)

US Cellular said they might be interested in a 4G iPhone, but remember, they also said they want all the smartphones they carry to use the same charging cables. (Personally, I wish they'd make it a trifecta and say the phone can't require use of shoddy software, so the USCC iPhone would be set up for USB Mass Storage. It would support iTunes but not require that POS.)

USCC will get the i-phone whether prepaid or not. What phone company does

Why not charge a premium price for it? Charge $299 or $399 but make the subsidy equal to that of a top selling android phone.

Because they can't. Part of the ridiculous terms is that Apple controls the price. You have to sell it for what they tell you to. You can't mark it up or down without their permission. Ever notice how the price is the same across the big 3? Apple wants bit that way. They don't allow bloatware (and while the tech savvy hate it it allows the carrier recoup some of the subsidized cost) or mail in rebates on it either. This is why the big 3 have all seen their profit margins shrink, none worse than Sprint. It's not the device that is the issue. I wouldn't own one, but that's my choice. It's the terms. It's funny how Apple make billions on the backs of their "partners" with no regard to their partners' well being. I am happy USC had the sense to say no.
    • MickeyHampton and trevorwest like this
Good Article ... "In conclusion, we believe that although the Apple iPhone has a higher subsidy than other smartphones, there isn't as much difference between subsidies for iPhones and other smartphones. We compared the subsidies offered by Verizon Wireless on the iPhone versus the 40+ other smartphones available. We found that the average subsidy offered on all smartphones was $365.87, with a median subsidy of $360. Even if we backed out the $450 subsidy offered on the iPhone, we found that the average smartphone subsidy excluding Apple iPhone was $357.85. Even with the ~$90 in higher subsidy for the iPhone versus its smartphone peers, Apple still carries a $150 higher retail cost. Despite this disadvantage, Apple has outsold all other smartphone vendors during the last quarter, with the exception of Samsung (SSNLF.PK)."

http://seekingalpha....r-profit-issues
Now to wait for the usual suspect to come in here and regale us with his vast, infinite retail wireless consultant wisdom.



If US Cellular Gets the iPhone, I highly doubt it will be available on prepaid. Offering it on post paid only, would be the most likely option. For the sane reasons as stated earlier in previous replies as well as possibly attracting prepaid customers to post paid.
    • MickeyHampton likes this
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John Vincent
Jun 01 2012 07:47 AM

I doubt this will happen if it’s pre-pay only. The reason is USCC has a weird set up where prepay and post pay are totally separate. To go from post pay to prepay you have to cannel your post pay account. That would be fine if most people were under contract but with he belief plans making a large amount of USCC customers without contracts it would lose USCC a ton of money as people moved from higher end more expensive plans down to less expensive prepay plans and also they'd lose a bunch of money on customers who still hadn't been into their phones long enough to pay off the subsidy. It works for Cricket because all they have is prepay. It wouldn't work for USCC and if they tried it, it would be a total mess in their systems and cost them a ton of money.


Very good post...adds some good info I wasn't aware of with the prepaid. Thanks

I doubt this will happen if it’s pre-pay only. The reason is USCC has a weird set up where prepay and post pay are totally separate. To go from post pay to prepay you have to cannel your post pay account. That would be fine if most people were under contract but with he belief plans making a large amount of USCC customers without contracts it would lose USCC a ton of money as people moved from higher end more expensive plans down to less expensive prepay plans and also they'd lose a bunch of money on customers who still hadn't been into their phones long enough to pay off the subsidy. It works for Cricket because all they have is prepay. It wouldn't work for USCC and if they tried it, it would be a total mess in their systems and cost them a ton of money.


Prepay plans do not come with subsidies or belief points, so it's not like USCC is losing money when a customer chooses prepay over postpay. In fact, depending on the phone someone combines with a prepay, it might even be cheaper for USCC to have a customer on prepay over postpay.

On topic, one reason I don't want to see the iPhone on USCC is that the data speeds are already approaching Sprint levels - can you imagine where we'd be with an influx of iTards? I understand people want the iPhone, so go to one of the MANY carriers that offer it.

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