FreedomPop $99 WiMAX iPhone case up for pre-order

Towards the end of March it was revealed that FreedomPop was planning to launch a WiMAX iPhone case that would provide 1GB of data for free. The case would come with a deposit of $99 that would be refunded upon returning the case, with the company hoping to take advantage of a freemium model by converting customers to a paid model further down the road. FreedomPop is now available for pre-order, although the product has been tweaked slightly.

The major change is that the case will no longer give 1GB of data: FreedomPop has decided to drop the amount to 500MB to play it safe. In addition, the deposit idea has been scrapped, with users simply buying the case outright for $99. They can return it for a refund if they're not happy, so while nothing has really changed for the end-user, the accounting department has a slightly easier job.

500MB isn't a lot to play with, especially with potentially fast WiMAX speeds, so how can you accrue more? FreedomPop is planning to let users earn more bandwidth by connecting with each other via social networks. How much you earn for these interactions isn't clear, but it's said that the monthly limit on data can be raised to 1GB if you play your cards right. FreedomPop users will also be able to transfer data between one another: if you're having a lighter month, you could send your 500MB over to a friend so that they could take advantage of it instead.

Overage charges will still apply if you do break the 500MB threshold, with data costing one cent per megabyte. The case otherwise remains the same, attaching to your iPhone 4/4S and acting as a WiFi hotspot that the phone connects to while providing additional power. The video below gives a demo of the device, including speeds, and you can head over to this link to pre-order now.

[via TechCrunch]