Apple is planning to start selling prepaid iPhones and month-to-month off-contract plans, 9-to-5 Mac reports. The move would allow iPhone buyers to pay little to nothing up front while still purchasing devices without a contract. That’s good news for consumers in the U.S. market, who have shown greater interest in buying smartphones that are not bundled with a two-year contract, as has been the requirement for the past decade.

The report stipulates that Apple will work with AT&T, which has recently boosted its prepaid plan options, and T-Mobile, which has gained over two million new subscribers by selling devices either à la carte or with month-to-month no-contract plans. Amid news of the potential Sprint-T-Mobile merger and the first quarter in which Verizon Wireless lost customers, today’s carriers will likely be prompted to work harder to gain new subscribers.

With Apple selling iPhones directly to customers—which no other smartphone maker can successfully do because they lack the retail outlets to do so—the company is also threatening smartphone carriers by selling directly to customers with month-to-month payment plans. Not only will it give customers more power, it will also directly affect how customers decide which carrier to join. Verizon Wireless and Sprint have the most to lose, since the report states that the updated sales will work for GSM carriers AT&T and T-Mobile only, and Apple will be able to earn more money by selling directly to customers instead of through a carrier.

The report says that Apple will begin selling prepaid iPhones and month-to-month plans at the end of June. It’s a very smart move for Apple, which is serious about getting more iPhones into the hands of Android owners, who typically spend less for older models or wait for deals on smartphones, something Apple has regularly worked against.

Would you consider opting out of your current phone contract in favor of a prepaid iPhone?

Image courtesy of Flickr


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