Cheaper iPhone for prepaid users: Is Apple going to set you free from contracts and carrier determined prices?

March 1, 2011, By Shawn Wagnon

Obviously, we are not hinting about Apple trying to control the price of the contracts that mobile carriers are going to offer (Like the Subscription Policy). But will putting a cheaper prepaid iPhone in the market today actually help the consumers break free from the contracts and the data plan restrictions that are imposed by the carriers? Well, there are those who will tell you that Apple cannot control the data plans. But a Prepaid SIM-free cheaper iPhone could solve the problem with ease.

Apple’s COO Tim Cook talked about the possibility of a cheaper prepaid iPhone and the effort there would be to try and ensure that it reaches to wider base of consumers. Of course, the immediate question then was that even if Apple did make the iPhone cheaper (say some version of the iPhone 5 or later), will it ensure that you can afford the data plans that carriers will then offer for your prepaid iPhone?

Remember that the likes of Verizon Wireless and AT&T will not be too happy with the move and will most likely want most of us to sign on the dotted line. And that is what concerns everyone. Can these carriers give a fair price for the prepaid users? The answer might not be definitive, but we firmly believe that they will have little choice but to play along.

With Apple selling a cheaper iPhone for less dough, the handset price is taken out of their hands. Then you can only get better deals in the open market with maybe retailers trying to attract consumers. Then there is the question of data plans. If T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon all have a shot at attracting this wide new consumer base, they can only do so by offering the best possible deal.

So, no matter which way you look at it, the consumer is happy and Apple might get to add a new fanbase to its existing one. So, while Tim Cook has just outlined the idea, it seems Apple and iPhone lovers can only gain from the cheaper prepaid iPhone.

Like the idea even if the new cheaper version lacks a few features compared to its costlier cousin? Think it will take a fair share away from the Android-WP7 market?

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