While some see their it as a fashion accessory, many more see their iPhone as 1.) a computer and 2.) source of expensive debt. Enter the prepaid iPhone.

The smartphone, as a device and market, has almost come full circle. While people think of their iPhones as bleeding edge fashion accessories that compute, it’s also true that many, many more people see their iPhone as 1.) a computer and 2.) source of debilitating revolving credit. Enter the prepaid iPhone.

The simple fact of life is that smartphone subsidies don’t accrue to you — your wireless carrier is the one that gets and keeps the money. Smartphone subsidies subsidize the phone company, not users.

Seriously, the wireless company is pimping you to yourself and pocketing the fees. Prepaid smartphone purchase and data plans are a step in the right direction, and the Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker is getting in on the act.

While Apple has been quite happy to sell unlocked iPhones at full price, prepaid data service could only be purchased separately. Now, that’s changing.

Prepaid iPhone: Still Not Cheap

9 to 5 Mac, quoting an unnamed source, US Apple Stores will soon start selling prepaid and month-to-month plans. The move is part of Apple’s effort to increase its share of retail iPhone sales.

“Previously, iPhone customers could only buy full-priced iPhones as unlocked devices then connect the devices to pre-paid plans or month-to-month plans via a previously purchased SIM-card or through a carrier store…,” writes 9 to 5 Mac guru Mark Gurman. “Now that these plans will be available through Apple Stores, customers will be hooked into the store which exposes them to Apple’s other products.”

That said, Apple Stores will offer AT&T (2.5GB for $60/mo) and T-Mobile (5GB for $70/mo) prepaid iPhone plans from the last week of June.

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