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Cricket Announces LTE Capable iPhone 5S and 5C, ZTE Source

Cricket Communications announced the ZTE Source today. It's an Android 4.1 JellyBean 4G LTE phone with a 4.5 inch 480x854px FWVGA screen, 5MP autofocus camera with LED flash and 720p HD video capture. There's also a 1MP front-facing camera for video chats, 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB RAM and SRS Enhanced sound for deeper bass. Both cameras have backside-illuminated (BSI) sensor technology for improved low light performance.

The ZTE Source will be available from www.mycricket.com and at Cricket stores and independent dealers starting Sunday, October 20 for $219.99. It can be used on Cricket plans starting at $50/month ($45/month with auto-pay) for unlimited music, talk and text, plus up to 2.5GB of full speed data.

Earlier this week, Cricket announced that it would begin selling the new iPhone 5S and 5C starting Oct.25. Cricket will be the third US prepaid operator, after Virgin Mobile and AT&T's Aio Wireless, to offer the new iPhones. Cricket did not disclose its pricing for the iPhone 5S and 5C. But Cricket sold the iPhone 5 for $599.99 when it was the iPhone flagship, so I'm guessing the iPhone 5S will be $599.99 and the 5C, $499.99. Update 10/25: The 16GB  iPhone 5C and 5S are now available at mycricket.com at prices of $499.99 for the 5C and $599.99 for the 5S.

The great thing about the iPhone 5S and 5C for Cricket is that they support all of Cricket's 2G, 3G and 4G LTE bands. The iPhone 5 and 4S not only don't support Cricket's Band 4 LTE, they don't even work on the 1700 Mhz AWS 2G/3G band that Cricket uses in many markets. Because of older iPhones' incompatibility with Cricket's network, they were only available in a some markets. The 5S and 5C support Band 4 LTE and 1700 AWS CDMA so they will be fully functional everywhere on Cricket's network and should be available in all markets.

If you are wondering where you can use Cricket LTE, it's now available in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tucson, Wilmington, Del. and Austin, Brownsville-McAllen-Harlingen, Corpus Christi, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Houston, Killeen, Laredo, San Antonio and Temple Texas.

Related:
AT&T to Acquire Cricket Prepaid Brand
Prepaid Operator Profile: Cricket

8 comments:

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  1. ZTE, the phone that spies on you!

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  2. Has there been any news about the Cricket-AT&T merger?

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    1. Not really, but the deal is still on. The wheels are just turning slowly.

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  3. T-mobile has done a great job with the acquisition of Metro Pcs. They even kept a lot of Metro Pcs upper management involved in the new company. However, I don't think AT&T should or will keep a lot of Cricket/Leap Management around. Metro Pcs by itself before T-mobile chose not to go the I-phone route and manage to keep them selves out of huge debt unlike Cricket. Cricket has bad management.

    Last June 2012, Cricket decided to start selling the I-phone and entered into a contract with Apple for 3 years at 900 million. Now we all know that the way prepaid/mvno's/regional carriers make money by selling the I-phone is by selling them at full or close to retail prices. For Cricket to enter this kind of deal and only be able to sell it in limited markets basically only where they had a roaming agreement with Sprint was moronic and idiotic.
    Cricket would of been better off waiting to do this deal this year where the IP5S and IP5C would of been fully loaded with all of Cricket's bands on board. Cricket has lost customers since they started selling the I-phone another reason they should of waited for this year's models.

    Were probably still about three months away from the closing of the AT&T-CRICKET acquisition but if AT&T was smart they would get rid of a lot of current Cricket executive management. Two years ago Cricket had over 7 million customers now less than 5 million. Bad management must go.

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    1. Other sites are reporting that AT&T will shut down Aio if the Cricket deal goes through.

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  4. Will the Cricket iPhone 5s work on AT&T bands? They will want to reconfigure the Cricket network ASAP after the takeover. Will AT&T exchange your Cricket 5s?
    You can't criticize Cricket's original decision to sell iPhones without the information they had; we weren't there and did not know what they knew. They probably saved several hundred thousand customers and gained some new ones with the iPhone, even though sales were restricted to certain areas. Once customers leave, it is hard get them back. Cricket sold $450M worth of iPhones, half their commitment during the first year. That is still about 900,000 iPhones at $500 each. Does anyone think the vast majority of those customers would have stayed with Cricket? Tmobile was bleeding customers without the iPhone too. Most of the regional carriers were hurting then. Cricket was the first prepaid wireless company to sell iPhone at close to full price, and it was a bold move, given the American way of hiding the phone price in the service cost. $500 is a lot to pay up front. Well, this gamble was not a failure. Just look at Tmobile and their current success in decoupling the phone from the service. Would they have done that if Cricket had not taken a business risk, and managed to sell 900,000 iPhones the first year in limited areas? Maybe not.
    Apple never could or would have told Cricket the specs for 5S and 5C back when the decision was made to offer the 4 and 4S more than 1.5 years ago. Managers have to make decisions with the best info they have. Anybody can be brilliant with hindsight, but doesn't make business leaders who take calculated risks dumb when we don't like the results.

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    1. The Cricket iPhone 5S and 5C support all AT&T bands including LTE. AT&T would need to unlock the phones before AT&T SIMs could be used

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