Sprint set to offer a pay as you go iPhone through its Virgin Mobile brand

Sprint set to offer a pay as you go iPhone through its Virgin Mobile brand

Sprint will announce this week that a pay as you go iPhone will be available on its Virgin Mobile brand starting from July 1st. Sprint will become the second US network to announce an iPhone without any contract following the announcement last week that Cricket Communications would also offer pre-paid iPhones starting on June 22nd. This new offering may go towards helping Sprint achieve its commitment to Apple to buy $15.5 billion iPhones over the next four years.

Sprint's prepaid service, which also includes the Boost Mobile brand, has been the carrier's lone area of growth as contract customers have fled. Sprint added 489,000 prepaying customers in the first quarter, though it lost 192,000 contract customers, which are considered more profitable. It began offering the iPhone on its Sprint brand in October, and has sold 3.3 million of the device over the past two quarters.

There is no information available on the pricing structure for the pay as you go iPhone on Virgin Mobile but we assume that it will be similar to Cricket Communications pricing. Cricket will offer the iPhone 4 with 8GB of storage for $399.99 while the iPhone 4S 16GB version will cost $499.99. Virgin Mobile offer prepaid plans that begin at $35 a month and offer unlimited data. This does carry a 2.5GB soft cap; it is unclear  at this stage if this will be available for the iPhone.

Boost Mobile has also been strongly rumored to get a pre-paid version of the iPhone in the coming months but we still have nothing concrete on those rumors so far. Boost  is an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) that runs on Sprint’s network so maybe it won't be long before that is confirmed too.

Source: WSJ


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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Sprint set to offer a pay as you go iPhone through its Virgin Mobile brand


Isn't it amazing that all these small CDMA carriers are starting to get iPhones wile Tmo still has nothing. Espestially since the iPhone started on GSM.

Phil's comment "all these small CDMA carriers" was prob referring to Virgin USA AND Cricket. Cricket is also CDMA(they have their own equipment and use a lot of Verizon's towers, too).

But I see your point, Sprint is a large Carrier, even if Virgin Mobile under Sprint has a smaller customer footprint.

Still surprised they are subdizing a prepaid iPhone when so many people will buy it out and unlock it

Your prices are retail. They dont buy them for $400 and $500. Probably cost closer to the $300-400 price points. They profit off all prepaid phine sales. They dont trust that customers will stay so they dont subsidize any portion of them

Perfect deal for VM and it finally begins to bring the US version of that nameplate into line with the VM branded cell companies in Canada, Austrailia, etc. While all owned by different companies, they each license the VM name, and with Sprint bringing Branson on board recently for its new marketing push, this makes tremendous sense. Especially in light of the huge number of iPhones Sprint is under contract with Apple to move, plus the fact that VM is one of Sprint's main growth areas. Looks like my cheap VM flip-phone that I use as a backup cell phone is about to be the causality of a major upgrade!

Shame these prepaid providers are CDMA, not GSM. Some of these deals would have been sweet for short-term data coverage when I'm in the US in a few months,
It's hard to be sure what the best options are when travelling from the UK. (Lying to AT&T about using an iPhone seems to be a popular option.)

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