Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S Plus officially launch on Friday, and Cricket Wireless is getting it on the action by selling the new phones both online and at select retail locations.
A subsidiary of AT&T, Cricket offers prepaid, no-contract mobile phone plans that include unlimited talk and text along with a certain amount of 4G LTE data, anywhere from 2.5 gigabytes to 10 gigabytes per month. You can pay the full retail price for your phone upfront, or take advantage of one of Cricket's . The mobile plan itself includes taxes and extra fees, so there are no surprises when your first bill arrives in the mail.
The iPhone 6S starts at $650, while the iPhone 6S Plus starts at $750. Cricket's smartphone plans start at $40 per month, or $35 if you sign up for for auto payments. iPhone 6S and 6S Plus owners will be able to connect to Cricket's nationwide LTE network, which covers more than 300 million people. Also included in the plans are international calling options to Mexico and Canada and calling plans to Latin America and the Caribbean.
A subsidiary of, Cricket competes with such services as T-Mobile's MetroPCS and Sprint's Boost Mobile, all of which offer prepaid, contract-free plans. But contract-free plans aren't the rarity they use to be when most smartphone buyers paid a subsidized fee that locked them into a two-year contract. Now all four major US carriers -- AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless -- either offer or restrict you to contract-free plans where you pay the full retail price for the phone. So why opt for a service like Cricket?
Subsidiaries like Cricket still offer certain benefits. First, you know exactly what price you'll pay each month since taxes and fees are included in the cost. Second, carriers such asare busy competing with each other to offer low-cost installment deals where you pay off or actually lease the phone via a small monthly fee. But sometimes those deals come with certain caveats and can be confusing. A service like Cricket offers simpler and more clear-cut options to pay for the phone outright or finance it.
Another benefit of opting for Cricket is its Group Save feature. Similar to , Group Save provides bigger discounts as you add more people to the plan. For example, a second line saves you $10, a third $20, and a fourth and fifth line each $30. And unlike Sprint's Family option in which each bill is separate, Group Save sends you just a single bill.
Cricket touts other benefits to its service on its FAQ page.
Apple's own website shows a ship date for the iPhone 6S of between October 5 and October 12, or between October 13 and October 19, depending on the carrier. The iPhone 6S Plus has an estimated ship date of three to four weeks.