Sprint to Launch iPhone Through Prepaid Brand Virgin Mobile in Coming Weeks
MarketWatch reports that Sprint will announce later this week that it will begin offering the iPhone on a prepaid basis through its Virgin Mobile brand. The announcement will come just days after Leap Wireless announced that it would begin offering the iPhone on a prepaid basis through its Cricket brand beginning June 22.
The Overland Park, Kan., carrier will announce this week it will offer the popular smartphone on its Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go brand starting as soon as July 1, according to people familiar with the company's plans. Sprint follows Leap Wireless International Inc. in selling the device with prepaid service.
By offering the iPhone, Sprint may help satisfy its commitment to Apple to buy $15.5 billion of the phones over four years, an aggressive bet as more carriers are getting access to the once-exclusive device. Sprint's prepaid service, which also includes the Boost Mobile brand, has been its lone area of growth as contract customers have fled.
Virgin Mobile's pricing for the iPhone remains unknown, and it is also unclear whether Sprint's Boost Mobile brand will also gain access to the device. Boost had been rumored last week to be adding the iPhone in September.
Virgin Mobile's existing smartphone plans begin at $35 per month with unlimited data (throttled after 2.5 GB), although the report notes that it is unknown whether the iPhone would be eligible for the carrier's cheapest plans.