Not having a contract has its advantages, you're not locked in to anything so no early termination fees (ETF). It does, however, have its disadvantages as well, such as higher priced cell phones. Carriers like MetroPCS and Cricket have found a way to get you the technology you want, and they to do so without destroying your bank account. They have started financing options.
With the ever rising cost of new phones coming out, people with prepaid carriers may not be able to afford the phones they really want. Smartphones are the wave of the future; this has been known for years. Samsung, HTC, Apple, LG are making it so people have the ability to run their lives from their phones but it comes at a pretty steep price.
Giving the option of financing would normally require a credit check and approval to get the credit you need, but in these cases, it simply just comes out of your checking account each month. Since the phone will be financed it will cost a bit more, but overall, I feel it is worth it. Both MetroPCS and Cricket have confirmed with Fierce Wireless that they will be using Progressive Finance.
MetroPCS currently uses BillFloat, which allows you to make a smaller initial payment, and then two more payments thereafter to complete the transaction.
I am on MetroPCS and have been looking into getting the Galaxy S3 and this has really peaked my interest. This is the perfect time to do this as the holidays are coming around the corner at light speed and now, with this option, people can get out of their older 3G phone into a nice 4G. T-Mobile has wanted to do a re-farm for a while now. With them buying MetroPCS, getting people into 4G phones and getting the much needed spectrum, they can start the re-farm and allow the iPhone space to pick up when they get it later next year. Keep in mind, this has not been confirmed or even rumored about the spectrum, but I have no doubt it is in the plans and this is the reason for the financing options.