Home - , , - Updated: FreedomPop iPhone 5 Now Available: Buy For $349 or Bring Your Own iPhone 4, 4s or 5

Updated: FreedomPop iPhone 5 Now Available: Buy For $349 or Bring Your Own iPhone 4, 4s or 5

According to a USAToday story published today, free mobile operator FreedomPop will begin supporting the iPhone 5 this week. FreedomPop will sell refurbished iPhones for $349 and customers will be able to use their own iPhones as well.

The story is full of interesting details about FreedomPop sourcing used iPhones from China and the brands of Tequila served at the company's Friday all-hands staff meetings. But it's thin on details about how the iPhone will work on FreedomPop. The story doesn't say which network the iPhone's are using (current FreedomPop phones are on Sprint), if calling will still be VOIP based or give any details of calling plans other than to say there will still be a free plan and paid plans starting at $5/month.

FreedomPop uses a "freemuim" business model that gives users a limited but surprisingly generous amount of free data and phone service. The company makes money by selling devices and extra features like voice mail and by charging overage rates for data, texts and minutes after the free allotment is used up. FreedomPop's current free plan for Android phones includes 200 Voice Minutes, 500 Texts and 500 MB of 3G or 4G data per month. Additional data is 2.5¢/MB.

It looks like the USAToday story might have been published prematurely or perhaps plans have changed. There's been no announcement of iPhone availability on FreedomPop site, blog, user forum or press site. FreedomPop's Twitter account did Tweet a link to the USAToday story today, but deleted the Tweet less than an hour later. Last week's FreedomPop Instagram post (image) showing some iPhone mockups has also been deleted. Are the disappearing social media posts a weird stealth marketing campaign or are more sinister forces at work? I could see Apple not taking kindly to the idea of free iPhone service tarnishing the image of their premium brand and threatening legal action.

Update 5 PM PT 4/28: The FreedomPop iPhone 5 is now available on the FreedomPop site. It's priced at $349.00 plus $6.99 shipping. It runs on Sprint's 3G and LTE network with voice calling handled by a custom FreedomPop VOIP app. Users can also bring their own clean ESN Sprint iPhone 5. For help with FreedomPop iPhones see the new iPhone support section of the FreedomPop User Forum.

Update 12:10 PM PT 4/29: In addition to the iPhone 5, users can now activate Sprint iPhone 4 and 4s models on FreedomPop according to a forum post by the company.

Available plans for iPhones are the same as those for FreedomPop Android phones:

  • Free Plan: 200 Voice Minutes, 500 Texts and 500MB of 3G or 4G data per month. 
  • $10.99/month or $79.99/year ($6.67/month): Unlimited Minutes and texts and 500MB
  • Additional data: 2.5¢/MB or $10.99/month for 1GB extra (1.49GB total)
The FreedomPop Free Voice and Text iOS app, which is now available in the iTunes App Store, works with all iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad models running iOS 5.1 or latter, including ones that don't use the FreedomPop mobile service. The app gives the user a separate FreedomPop phone number and 200 VOIP minutes and 500 texts per month. The FreedomPop app also allows sending and receiving picture messages between other FreedomPop iOS users. For more about the app see the tutorials in Phone section of the FreedomPop User Forum.

Related:
Prepaid Operator Profile: FreedomPop

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16 comments:

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  1. my guess is that the iphone 5 inventory from china are gsm because any china cdma iphone 5 would most likely have to be put in the databases for sprint (or verizon) to be activated at all. also the freedompop apps in the apple apps store has screenshots that show the iphone on at&t. one app is for managing your freedompop account and the other app is for getting a free phone number to do calls and texts. got both apps the other day for my iphone. therefore probably gsm iphone 5. as to whether at&t or tmobile, if you follow my flimsy logic, my guess is again at&t because of the app store screenshots.

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  2. I found this FreedonPop page actually already selling an iPhone 5, and says that it is "connected to FreedomPop's lightning fast LTE network."
    http://www.freedompop.com/#phone

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  3. the freedompop app for doing free calls via wifi or LTE data would be clumsy to use if have a passcode on your iphone where you always have to input the passcode to get to the freedompop app to answer the call. the iphone would have to be jailbroken to make it a more elegant process (this is where android would be better). the better way for it to work is if freedompop worked like google voice where it forwards to a real phone number on the iphone to answer the call. and then you just use the freedompop app for outcalls.

    if you want something similar for voip voice calls that you can use on your iphone right now (if you really do NOT want to use a real cellular voice number) then go get skype, textplus, pinger, wechat, or some other app for doing calls on iphone to any phone number. or just do facetime audio calls which is already built into iphone.

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  4. well screw that. not available in my area. free is like dreams where you just wake up realizing it may not be for you particularly if no availability for my zip code. so, freedompop you are like vaporware to me. sticking with my sprint iphone on ringplus.

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    1. If you are activating your own phone on FreedomPop, Go to www.freedompop.com/byod and there should be a "try it anyway" link on the page that says FreedomPop won't work at your location. As long as you have Sprint coverage the phone will work.

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  5. Some more details--the IOS app-- which works even on the IPOD touch-- gives you free calls and texts...but cautions that texts may take up to 30 minutes...this might be worth checking out to use for calls that require you to spend 5 or 10 minutes waiting to get through to customer service that would otherwise chomp through the minutes on your regular plan.

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  6. per Re-Code--I phones are Sprint phones

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  7. Is this like republic wireless where you have to have WiFi?

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    1. No WiFi isn't required to use FreedomPop.

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  8. I would be curious to know how the call quality is. I'll bet where there is LTE, the call quality should be quite good. However, in areas that are served only by 3G, the call quality may be poor.

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  9. I just realized that if I bring my own iPhone 4/4s to Freedompop service, I can now sign up for the phone service even though I do not live in the area of Sprint's LTE nor WiMAX. They have "Get Anyway" button to bypass the address check for LTE/WiMAX service area. This is the significant change for FreedomPop, which didn't accept anyone for its Phone service in 3G-only area.
    I went as far to the final "order" page with my Sprint iPhone 4s, and my address does not have Sprint's LTE/WiMAX.

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    Replies
    1. You can, but do you really want to listen to VOIP over Sprint's slow 3G network?

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    2. I know. That's why I didn't click "order" button. On the other hand, the service is free (except voice mail addition for $2.49/mo.) and I have a Sprint iPhone 4s collecting the dust. So, ... umm

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    3. You can just sell your iPhone on Swappa or Glyde and pick up another one for AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon service. Run the FreedomPop VOIP app on that iPhone (with data service) and you would probably be a lot more satisfied. Or just sign up your iPhone with RingPlus for $1.99/month and just use VOIP on WiFi.

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  10. The FreePop VIOP app needs to run all the time or you will miss calls and texts.

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