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Apple and Virgin Mobile USA Planning to Launch iPhone 5, But Timeframe Unknown

While the three major U.S iPhone carriers launched the iPhone 5 on September 21 and prepaid carrier Cricket and a number of regional carriers followed suit on September 28, one U.S. brand has been curiously silent about its plans for the iPhone 5: Sprint's prepaid Virgin Mobile unit. Virgin launched the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 in late June, offering prepaid plans for as low as $30 per month to customers willing to pay full retail price for their iPhones.

But while no official iPhone 5 announcement has been made, MacRumors has confirmed that Apple does indeed have Virgin-specific CDMA iPhone 5 units lined up and ready to go. The full suite of Virgin Mobile USA iPhone 5 model numbers includes:

- MD250LL/A: 16 GB
- MD489LL/A: 32 GB
- MD574LL/A: 64 GB

- MD355LL/A: 16 GB
- MD566LL/A: 32 GB
- MD591LL/A: 64 GB

A timeframe for an iPhone 5 launch on Virgin Mobile USA is currently unknown, and it is unclear why the carrier did not introduce the iPhone 5 last week alongside competitor Cricket. Among the sixteen official iPhone carriers in the United States, only Virgin Mobile and regional carrier Alaska Communications have yet to introduce the iPhone 5. When asked about Virgin Mobile's iPhone 5 plans last week, a representative simply told MacRumors that the carrier has "made no announcements about this".

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

Top Rated Comments

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25 months ago
What about T-Mobile? :(
Rating: 7 Votes
25 months ago
great news. I can't bring myself to signing a contract with the us bloodsuckers.
Rating: 5 Votes
25 months ago
Yep! Hell, I could have submitted this rumor. When I got my iPhone swapped at the genius bar it wan an unactivated model. It didn't have a sim card in it so when I set it up it asked me the carrier. It gave me Verizon, Sprint, and Virgin Mobile as options. It gave me two warnings saying it will be locked to that carrier before letting me continue.
Rating: 4 Votes
25 months ago

What about T-Mobile? :(

Right ? What the hell is wrong with you apple add t mobile.
Rating: 2 Votes
25 months ago
This could be my next (and first) iPhone. But I don't think it's a secret why it's not available yet. Sprint - owners of Virgin in the U.S. - would rather sell you...well, Sprint service. As long as iPhones are supply-constrained, why would they offer their cheap option?

Very good to see they'll have more than just the 16GB version.
Rating: 2 Votes
25 months ago

What about T-Mobile? :(

Buy a GSM unlocked (when available) phone directly from Apple and take it to T-Mobile, they will provide you with a SIM.

You won't get LTE obviously, but some markets (including the San Francisco Bay Area) are getting 3G HSPA+ compatibility with the same frequency band that AT&T uses, so that you aren't stuck on Edge speeds.

In the long term, T-Mobile should start rolling out LTE sometime in 2013, but I wouldn't necessarily be counting on it.
Rating: 2 Votes
25 months ago

Don't be stupid and DO NOT get T-Mobile either. A fool and his money is soon parted. Think about this for a minute. With T-Mobile you have to pay full price for the iPhone elsewhere and then T-Mobile will charge you $50 per month minimum for only 200MB - (yes that is far less than a 1GB). If you want more, you'll have to pay $60, $70 a month - this is the same price you'll get from the other carriers and you won't have to pay full phone price and you will get faster speeds.

T-Mobile has a $30 prepaid plan that includes 150 anytime minutes, with unlimited data and text. I never need that many phone minutes, so that's perfect for me.
Rating: 1 Votes
25 months ago
Ugh, what about T-Mobile? There are hundreds of carriers in the US, 16 isn't ****.


What's the point of buying an LTE phone on a carrier without LTE or HSPA +??

Someone enlighten me?

Because LTE isn't the main selling point to them. duh.
Rating: 1 Votes
25 months ago
If you can live with the VM network with 300 min/month, then you can see that the savings are the clear winner here:

Virgin Mobile iPhone 5 16GB - $650
plan - $30/mo (300 min)
after a year - $1010 ($2.77/day)
after 2 years - $1370 ($1.88/day)
after 3 years - $1730 ($1.58/day)
after 4 years - $2090 ($1.43/day)

Virgin Mobile iPhone 5 64GB - $850
plan - $30/mo (300 min)
after a year - $1210 ($3.32/day)
after 2 years - $1570 ($2.15/day)
after 3 years - $1930 ($1.76/day)
after 4 years - $2290 ($1.57/day)

Straight Talk iPhone 5 16GB - $650
plan - $495/year (unlimited) + $15 nano SIM card
after a year - $1160 ($3.18/day)
after 2 years - $1655 ($2.27/day)
after 3 years - $2150 ($1.96/day)
after 4 years - $2645 ($1.81/day)

Sprint iPhone 5 16GB - $200
plan - $80/mo (450 min)
after a year - $1160 ($3.18 per day)
after 2 years - $2120 ($2.90 per day)
after 3 years - $3080 ($2.81 per day)
after 4 years - $4040 ($2.77 per day)

Of course, the iPhone 5 prices are based on current price points, so I'm guessing that they'd stay the same once the unlocked version comes out. I'm also guessing that ST will come out with a nano SIM at the same price point.

The way I figured it, add up the price of the phone with the plan, and then calculate the overall cost over a period of time. So, even though the device is cheaper with a contract carrier, it'll be way more expensive overall.

But for some reason, "unlocked" and "no contract" are sometimes confused - these are not the same thing.
Rating: 1 Votes
25 months ago
$25/month plan with unlimited data (throttled after 2.5 GB), 300 minutes voice, unlimited texts.

That leaves an awful lot of money left over for other things, compared the price of contract/subsidized plans (even with employee discounts, which I have for each of the "big 4" carriers).

The speeds could be faster, but they are just fine for the most common smartphone tasks.

If Sprint sucks for data speeds in the States why would anyone pick this phone up for Virgin? Virgin is constrained to the same horrible speeds that Sprint has right? This news seems like moot in my opinion.

Rating: 1 Votes

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