Thursday, June 07, 2012

Virgin Mobile confirmed to sell iPhone, starting June 29

As predicted, Sprint's Virgin Mobile service has become the second prepaid carrier to announce it will carry the iPhone. The first was Leap Wireless' Cricket Communications.

While we already knew Sprint's Virgin Mobile brand would carry the iPhone, we didn't know several details, and now we do, thanks to Sprint.

First, it will be significantly more expensive to buy the phone than at Cricket. Cricket's iPhones run $399.99 for the 8GB iPhone 4, and $499.99 for the 16GB iPhone 4S. Virgin Mobile will charge $549 and $649 for the same devices. Guess what? That's the same price as for an unlocked iPhone (sans contract, in other words), meaning Sprint's not giving you a break like Cricket is.

In terms of the service plan, though, you do get a break. Cricket requires iPhone users to sign up for a $55 per month unlimited (sort of) talk / text / data plan. It's only "sort of" unlimited because the data, as is typical of many carriers nowadays, is throttled after 2.3GB.

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Meanwhile, Virgin Mobile will offer three different plans for its iPhones. Its Beyond Talk unlimited data and messaging plans for the iPhone start at $35 per month (300 minutes), and rise to $45 for 1,200 minutes and $55 for unlimited minutes. However, customers can receive a $5 per-month discount when they register for automatic monthly payments with a credit card, debit card or PayPal account.

Customers can also use their iPhone as a mobile hotspot through Virgin Mobile for an additional $15 per month. For Virgin Mobile, unlike its parent company, unlimited data doesn't mean unlimited. It means 2.5GB of data before throttling.

Virgin Mobile's iPhone goes on sale on June 29. More information can be found at its website.



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