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.