updated 07:00 pm EST, Fri March 2, 2012
Regional carrier borrows Sprint, Verizon networks
Southeast regional US carrier C Spire has unilaterally dropped the price of an iPhone 4S by $50 across all three models with a two-year plan, making the 16GB model as low as $149. The company offers plans starting at $25 per month that scale up to $100 per month for the unlimited data, streaming, texts and voice plan. C Spire uses a CDMA-based EV-DO 3G network compatible with Sprint and Verizon for roaming outside its own territory.
The company is also offering $50 off on 32GB and 64GB iPhone 4S models, at $249 and $349 respectively, making it the lowest upfront-cost offers in the US. The carrier has over one million users and differentiates itself from national carriers by offering very simplified plans that include unlimited messaging at all levels, talk levels at 500/1000 or infinite minutes, and a cap of unlimited everything for $100 with "truly unlimited" data similar to Sprint's offers.
For heavy data users, the company's top plan could save more than $40 a month compared to AT&T's 3GB cap or Verizon's 4GB cap. The carrier also sells the iPhone 4 at the standard rate of $99 with a plan. It's unclear if any of the national carriers will drop the cost of the heavily-subsidized iPhone 4S to compete with C Spire's offer.