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I hate my Motorola Droid X. I bought it through Verizon Wireless before they offered the iPhone. And I’m now looking to switch back to Apple. The big question is whether to wait for the iPhone 5. But I’ve started researching who has the most affordable plans.

Recently, both Virgin Mobile and Cricket announced that they will soon be offering prepaid versions of the iPhone. And even though you have to pay more for the phone, the total cost of ownership turns out to be a lot less than plans that are currently available from the major wireless carriers.

Compare iPhone Plans

The WSJ recently published an article comparing iPhone plans with Virgin and Cricket, both prepaid plans, and Sprint, AT&T and Verizon. In terms of cost and data plans, Virgin and Cricket were the clear winners.

Here’s how the costs of each plan stack up:

Phone Cost$649$500$200$200$200
Monthly Plan$50$55$100$120$120
1-Year Cost$1,249$1,160$1,400$1,640$1,640
2-Year Cost$1,849$1,820$2,600$3,080$3,080
The above plans represent each carrier’s most comprehensive plan. You can get plans with less talk time. As with a lot of people, I’m talking less and less on my phone. But the data plans are critical. So for me, a second Virgin plan with 300 talk minutes and unlimited data (data does slow after 2.5GB per month) is perfect. And at only $30 a month, it’s a great deal. You have to pay full price for the phone, but the low monthly cost makes up for the cost in less than 12 months.

The bigger question for me is how reliable is the voice and data coverage with Virgin or Cricket. If you’ve used either, please leave a comment letting us know if you are happy with the service.

Author Bio

Total Articles: 1083
Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Article comments

Crystal Anthony says:

I have had Virgin for over a year. I am excited about the Iphone mainly because the quality of the phone i have now sucks. The service is okay i prefer but cant afford Verizon at this time.

Sun says:

I am on Verizon now with contract, but wonder if can migrate over to Virgin mobile. Do both use CDMA? Are explained to me… Verizon customers get first access to the network and then any left over capacity is given to Virgin prepaid customers. I don’t know if this is true, just what I was told by a phone rep at Target.

I hardly use minutes on the phone… I need mostly a data plan.

Sun says:

Sorry, after reading some more online — it seems Virgin is on the Sprint network. Still CDMA.