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Virgin Mobile USA Launching iPhone on June 29 with Plans Starting at $30

In line with rumors from earlier this week, Virgin Mobile USA today announced that it will begin offering the iPhone on June 29. Virgin Mobile USA is a prepaid brand operated by Sprint.


Notably, Virgin Mobile will be offering service plans for as low as $30 per month with no commitment when customers sign up for automatic payments.
Virgin Mobile's Beyond Talk unlimited data and messaging plans for iPhone start at $35 per month for access to Sprint's Nationwide Network, and customers can receive a $5 per-month plan discount when they register for automatic monthly payments with a credit card, debit card or PayPal account, making iPhone available for as low as $30 per month. Customers can also use their iPhone as a mobile hotspot through Virgin Mobile for an additional $15 per month.
Unlike Cricket, which announced last week that it will begin offering the iPhone on a prepaid basis on June 22, Virgin is not offering any subsidy on iPhone hardware, with the 8 GB iPhone 4 being priced at $549 and the 16 GB iPhone 4S coming in a $649.

Cricket is offering the iPhone for $150 less, but its service plan consists solely of a $55/month offering with unlimited talk, text, and data. With Virgin Mobile offering plans for as low as $30, low-use customers can make up that hardware price differential in six months of service.

All three of Virgin Mobile's plans include unlimited texting and data (throttled after 2.5 GB), with voice minutes being the differentiating factor. With the $5 discount for automatic payments, Virgin Mobile's plans are priced at $30 (300 minutes), $40 (1200 minutes), and $50 (unlimited minutes).

Virgin Mobile will offer the iPhone through its website and at RadioShack, Best Buy, and other select retailers.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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24 months ago
AT&T …we need to talk.
Rating: 32 Positives
24 months ago

wow, i wish sprint had decent service around where i live....

so would anyone here pay 650 or 750 for an 16/32 GB iPhone 5 when it comes out in exchange for not having to pay 120 bucks a month on verizon sprint or att?

Why would anyone do that? Because some people can actually do basic arithmetic (as in elementary school).

Here we go again.

AT&T and Verizon: $199 subsidized iPhone 4S, $36 activation fee, $120 per month ($70 unlimited talk, $20 unlimited text, $30 cellular data 3GB with AT&T at HSPA+ speed, 2GB with Verizon at EV-DO speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $3115

Virgin Mobile: $649 retail iPhone 4S, $50 per month (unlimited talk/text/cellular data 2.5GB at EV-DO speed, throttled after 2.5GB). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1849

Cricket Wireless: $499 partially subsidized iPhone 4S, $55 per month (unlimited talk/text, cellular data 2.3GB soft cap at EV-DO speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1819

Straight Talk: $649 retail iPhone 4S, $15 SIM (one-time charge), $45 per month (unlimited talk/text, cellular data 2GB soft cap at HSPA+ speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1744

Monthly cost of ownership over two-year period:
AT&T/Verizon: $129.79
Virgin Mobile: $77.04
Cricket Wireless: $75.79
Straight Talk: $72.67

Straight Talk service is bare bones, but they are using AT&T's cellular towers. They don't tell you who you called, who sent you texts, how much data you've used, and you can't block numbers. But if you want HSPA+ speeds, they are a cheap dumb pipe.

And to the guys who say, "most people get corporate discounts of 10-25% from the big carriers", well, you still can't do math, can you? Even if you slash 25% off AT&T/Verizon's unlimited rate, that's still $97.34 per month.

If you opt for Straight Talk over a comparable plan from AT&T or Verizon, your break-even point is month six. If you were on AT&T or Verizon and wanted to walk away from the carrier at that point, you'd have to shell out an additional $260 or so in early termination costs.

People who can't do math are throwing hundreds of dollars away each year to the big carriers. AT&T stock dividend yields 8%. Thanks for putting money into my pocket, guys! You are partially paying for my Straight Talk cellular service!

Worse, if you have a postpaid plan, you are almost certainly paying a bunch of taxes that are added to the rates quoted by the carrier. The prepaid Straight Talk plan has a few mandated FCC charges, but no local sales tax. So someone using a postpaid AT&T/Verizon plan as quoted above is likely paying an additional $8-10 more in taxes than their next door neighbor on Straight Talk.

I can't do pricing analyses for every household's situation, but clearly, if you care about your money, you might spend a few minutes doing your own analysis to see if you can save hundreds a year.

I will point out that in most countries, people buy handsets at full retail prices and pay much less for monthly service (which is not locked to a long-term contract). Only the United States and a handful of other countries have popular subsidized/long-term contract cellular sales model. The rest of the world is smarter than that.
Rating: 27 Positives
24 months ago
Finally a competitor who brings something new to the table.
Rating: 13 Positives
24 months ago

Im guessing 90% of people who would buy a prepaid i phone dont qualify for a contract iPhone, most likely they wouldn't qualify for financing.


Sorry, but in 2012 going prepaid doesn't equate to bad credit like it used to. I think it equates more to wanting to pay less and not wanting to be roped into a 2-yr contract where a carrier has you by the balls.

There is no prestige in being tied into a contract where you're getting bent over by your service provider. Sadly, it is the people with your frame of mind that allow the major mobile companies to do just that.
Rating: 12 Positives
24 months ago
not sure I would buy a FULL price iPhone and have it locked to VM. :mad:

If it's locked then it should be subsidized.
Rating: 9 Positives
24 months ago

Im guessing 90% of people who would buy a prepaid i phone dont qualify for a contract iPhone, most likely they wouldn't qualify for financing.


Why is there this notion going around that you have to be poor to be on pre-paid? I could afford any carrier, but I have VM, as they not only are the cheapest, but auctally provide more. Why would anyone want to waste money on post paid? From what I have seen, in many cases, people would still save over AT&T or Verizon over 2 years, even if they outright bought this for $650.
Rating: 8 Positives
24 months ago

I just need to know how much the phone will cost, I recently switched from Virgin mobile since I wanted a new phone even though the service was just fine. If the price is $299 I'm sold, I like android and ICS but I'd rather have everything on Apple.


How could they possibly sell it for $299 and give you a max price plan of $50 and make any kind of money on it?

Besides, it says right in the post how much the phones will be.
Rating: 7 Positives
24 months ago

I just need to know how much the phone will cost, I recently switched from Virgin mobile since I wanted a new phone even though the service was just fine. If the price is $299 I'm sold, I like android and ICS but I'd rather have everything on Apple.


hello mcfly

Seriously, the first 2 pages are posts of people asking:
"Doesn't virgin use sprint's network?"
"how much does it cose?"
"is it unlockeD?"

READ THE FRACKING ARTICLE. IT IS RIGHT IN YOUR FACE.

Moment of passion nearly over... but I'm more vexed at those who answer these comments. You can lead a horse to pasture, but you can't make it drink... if it doesn't drink, let it be thirsty :-)

and yes, vote me down for being a jerk... but seriously, hookedonphonics.com

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How come no one asks if your existing number could be ported to VM or other pre-paid carriers? For me this is a big deal.


Because they... well, probably got off their keister and typed into their webbrowser www.virginmobile.com

Clicked the lovely US flag... and read the answer, which i refuse to give you.

http://virginmobileusa.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/895/session/L3RpbWUvMTMzOTExODU2NC9zaWQvUXI3V2s2LWs%3D

You'll actually have to read. And it took less time to fid that answer than it did for you to post about it.

----------

AFAIK, all three pre-paid carriers that you mention (ST, Cricket, and Virgin) rely on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint's networks to provide their customers coverage.

It'll be interesting to me to see what happens to the pre-paid carriers when their contracts with the big carriers are up. You'd think that if the big carriers end up losing a ton of customers to the pre-paids, they're definitely going to up the rates that they charge the pre-paid carriers to use their network.

My guess is that until a pre-paid carrier builds out their own network to be as large as AT&T or Verzion's, there's going to be no real long-term freedom from the big carriers. (And as T-Mobile has clearly demonstrated, if you don't have a big customer base and your game plan is just to offer cheap plans, you won't earn enough revenue to be able to afford to build out decent nationwide network, plus be ready to deploy whatever the next new wireless technology is).


I agree totally with your thought. This is where Sprint would have a big win, as they own Virgin Mobile and Boost and their network. It would only make their product more attractive... and that alone might keep Verizon and AT&T at bay for awhile. (Same can be said for TMobile's prepaid products.)

At the end of the day, the wireless market it very tapped out. It's more people moving around from carrier to carrier than it is having opportunities for growth.
Rating: 6 Positives
24 months ago
wow, i wish sprint had decent service around where i live....

so would anyone here pay 650 or 750 for an 16/32 GB iPhone 5 when it comes out in exchange for not having to pay 120 bucks a month on verizon sprint or att?
Rating: 5 Positives
24 months ago

Found coverage information: http://bit.ly/K0uZGo (http://bit.ly/K0uZGo)

They use Sprint for everything, so Sprint's numbers from customer service to data speeds apply.


It would seem he was more interested in first hand accounts of their service rather than a simple coverage map. :rolleyes:
Rating: 5 Positives

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