December 11th 2013
By Mike Flaminio
Straight Talk announced it will be launching the iPhone 5s and 5c this week. The pre-paid carrier will bring online both of Apple's latest phones on December 13th. Off contract phones involve paying the full unsubsidized phone price and in turn receiving lower cost monthly service. The company has deals with mobile carriers and largely customers use the same towers as if they were on said carriers. Last I checked iPhones run on AT&T's towers for Straight Talk.
It's a pretty good way to save some money if you plan to keep a phone longer than 18-24 months. One catch, however, is there's no roaming available. Typically AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have contract with small incumbent carriers to provide service on their local towers. For those customers it works seamlessly, but my experience has been that arrangement doesn't extend to MVNO providers like Straight Talk. Also, LTE coverage may not match up. So, basically check those maps carefully.
Pricing for service is $45 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data. An international plan is available for $60/month. Service is prepaid and has no contract commitments. Unsubsidized phones start out at $649 for a 16 GB iPhone 5s and $549 for the 16 GB iPhone 5c.