There is a growing availability of pre-paid iPhones in the world of today making many contemplate on the worth of adopting a pay as you go iPhone as opposed to being locked into a couple year contract. Since the prepaid option is cheaper, the users had to sacrifice some cool features of the device in acquisition. However, this is now not the case as prepaid clients are also able to reach for great smartphones like the iPhone 4S.

A pay as you go iPhone may have a shockingly high upfront cost. This is nevertheless better when contrasted to the pricing spread over the length of a two-year contract. For example, when comparing the cost of iPhone 4S on Virgin Mobile for two years versus the cost on Verizon Wireless, one pays an upfront cost of $449 more for the iPhone on Virgin Mobile. As unfavorable as this may appear, one can save about $1,000 over the two years period as opposed to maintaining a two-year contract with Verizon Wireless.

On Virgin Mobile:

IPhone 4S costs $649

The monthly service with 300 voice minutes, unlimited texting and up to 2.5 GB data add up to $30

This makes a total cost of $1,369 for 2 years

On Verizon Wireless

The iPhone 4S costs $200

The monthly service with 450 voice minutes, unlimited texting and up to 2 GB data add up to $90

The total cost becomes $2,360 for 24 months

Setting up an iPhone as a Prepaid Phone

Any iPhone can be used as a pay as you go phone through the AT&T GoPhone program despite the fact that this program is not officially supported for use in iPhones. The process is very easy:

i) Get a prepaid GoPhone SIM card. Done by buying a cheap GoPhone (usually refurbished older Nokia or Samsung phones) and yanking out the SIM card.

ii) Replace the iPhone SIM card with the prepaid SIM card and you are ready to make calls using the pay as you go model. This method however provides no data unless the iPhone is connected to WiFi.

To get the wireless data as well:

  • Be in a location where you can access the WiFi to enable the connection to the web on your iPhone
  • Using Safari on the newly set up prepaid iPhone, go to and then tap on “Continue”
  • On the appearing screen, tap on “Custom APN”
  • Select the carrier e.g. “US – AT&T”
  • Tap on “Create Profile” button to create and download the custom APN profile.
  • A screen appears with the alert that a new profile is about to be installed. Click on “Install” and then “Replace”. A Profile Installed screen appears showing the new APN profile that has been installed.
  • To test whether this prepaid data plan is working, disable the WiFi on the iPhone and check the upper left carrier signal. The presence of Edge or a 3G data text appearing confirms that the data plan is working. In case it does not appear to work, restart your iPhone.