Prepaid iPhone 4 and 4S now available on Cricket

As expected, Apple’s smartphone went on sale at Cricket Wireless this weekend. The carrier is the first to offer a prepaid, no-contract iPhone here in the US.

The company says that the launch is generating quite the buzz, with customers lining up outside of several of its retail stores to buy the handset…

Cricket is offering up the the 16GB iPhone 4S for just $499.99, again no contract, and the 8GB iPhone 4 for just under $400. That’s considerably more expensive than the average subsidized handset. But compared to other contract-free iPhones, it’s quite a deal.

The company also offers extremely competitive wireless plans — it’s most popular option includes unlimited talk, text, and data for just $50 a month. Although, like most carriers, data speeds are throttled after 2GB.

The trade-off for the savings is a limited, far-less robust network than that of its larger competitors. Cricket’s footprint covers just 60 million Americans — far less than the 300 million claimed by Verizon and AT&T.

At any rate, Apple’s handset has never been sold at this price, under these conditions (at least here in the US). It’ll definitely be interesting to see what kind of impact this experiment has on overall iPhone sales.

Are you picking one of these up this weekend? If so, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.