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Carrier could have $100 million worth of unsold iPhones by midyear

The iPhone 5 has been a sales success for most carriers around the world. However, Cricket Wireless – the no contract prepaid network operated by Leap Wireless -- isn't having luck selling the iPhone 5 and is seeing stock levels climb as consumers opt for other devices.

Leap Wireless says that it believes it will sell about half as many iPhones as it committed to sell during the first year of its contract with Apple, which ends in June. Leap Wireless believes that the poor sales could leave it with as much as $100 million worth of unsold iPhones by the middle of 2013.


Leap Wireless has 5.3 million subscribers and areas where it can sell the iPhone are limited by its limited network coverage. Leap was the first of the major prepaid carriers in the US to offer the iPhone last year.

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Leap Wireless and other prepaid carriers who offer the iPhone is one of cost. While carriers that require a contract, such as AT&T and Verizon, are able to subsidize the cost of the iPhone making it significantly cheaper up front, Leap charges the full retail price of $500.

Considering that pre-paid carriers tend to attract customers shopping on a budget coming up with $500 could be a stretch for many subscribers leading them to “cheaper”, subsidized phones.

Source: Wall Street Journal



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RE: Cricket
By GulWestfale on 2/28/2013 9:29:40 AM , Rating: 2
i currently use an automatic pay as you go service in canada automatic means they debit my bank account at the start of each month, just like a contract, except i do not have a contract. i prefer this because it is quite a lot cheaper for me when compared to their plans, and it doesn't make me a phone company slave for 3 years.

on the downside, i had to pay for my phone. the iphone, at $500+ was never an option, and neither was the galaxy S3 (also at 500 bucks). instead i went with a galaxy S2X (1.5GHz duallie, 4G, 4.5" 800x480 AMOLED), and paid only $250 for it. i'm perfectly happy with it, my iphone-owning brother is jealous of the screen and of what android can do, and i saved 250 bucks.

so i think dwindling iphone sales aren't necessarily due to low-cost carriers not being able to sell them; i think it's also due to people becoming more aware of alternatives. 3 years ago apple was the leader; but now they make mid-range handsets and sell them at premium prices. people can compare, and choose better options.


RE: Cricket
By Dorkyman on 2/28/2013 12:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
Our household has 3 Sprint Evo 4G's, contract up this summer, we are moving all three phones to Ting, which is PAYG and which uses Sprint's network, so coverage stays the same.

The Evo is a very nice phone, and I can purchase spares on eBay for <$100 if one gets trashed or lost (I already have one spare ready to go). Our phones have been backed up, so it will be a simple matter to clone a spare and be back in business if a loss occurs.

Oh, and Ting is cheap compared to Sprint's contract prices.


RE: Cricket
By MadMan007 on 3/1/2013 12:07:38 AM , Rating: 2
You should double check the coverage to make sure. MVNO on X network doesn't mean same coverage as a contract on X network.


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