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Virgin Mobile to Offer Pre-pay iPhone on June 29

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 9 comments

Contract-free iPhone headed for Sprint's pre-paid subsidiary.

Earlier this week we heard rumors that the iPhone 4S would soon arrive on Virgin Mobile on a PAYG (pay-as-you-go) basis. The story went that parent company Sprint was planning a pre-paid iPhone for its MVNO subsidiary in an effort to ensure it doesn't fall short of it $15.5 billion commitment with Apple. Today Virgin went ahead and confirmed that the iPhone 4S would launch on the network at the end of the month.

Today the network revealed that it would be selling the iPhone contract-free from June 29. Of course, the fact that you don't have to sign up for the usual two-year commitment means you're not going to get any kind of discount or subsidy from Virgin when purchasing your handset. You'll have to pay the full $649 for the 16GB iPhone 4S.

The iPhone will be offered with with Virgin's Beyond Talk unlimited data and messaging plans for as little as $30-per-month on the Sprint network. Customers who pre-authorize payments will get the plan for $30-per-month, while those who prefer to top up manually every month with have to pay an extra five bucks on top of that. You can add mobile hotspot support for an additional $15 each month.

Virgin is also selling the iPhone 4 (8GB), so if Siri isn't the kind of girl you want to hang out with all day long you can pick up the 4S's predecessor for $549.

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  • 0 Hide
    jvc21 , June 8, 2012 2:19 AM
    Ridiculous. U.S. mobile companies need to stop gouging customers. Who would pay that much for an iPhone just to use it on Virgin? Yes, pre-paid is nice, but you get killed by the outrageous cost of owning an Apple product.

    Perhaps someday, mobile companies will offer something affordable and fair for all customers...someday... -_-
  • 2 Hide
    dtemple , June 8, 2012 2:31 AM
    jvc21, I switched from Verizon Wireless to Virgin Mobile about a year ago now. I was using a Samsung Fascinate (Galaxy S) on Verizon Wireless which was free to me at the time. My plan included 450 minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data. With taxes and fees, my monthly charges on Verizon were in the low $80's per month.
    I switched to Virgin Mobile and bought an HTC Wildfire S handset outright for $149.99. I use the $35 plan with Virgin Mobile which gets me 300 minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data. I rarely use my minute allowance in a month, so functionally, I'm getting the same plan on Virgin Mobile for less than half what Verizon was charging me.
    With the $45/month i'm saving, the handset paid for itself in just over three months. An iPhone 4S would pay for itself in just under a year and three months.
    To explain it another way, I could pay $200 to Verizon for an iPhone 4S, then $80 a month for the following two years, which is $2120. I could also pay $650 to Virgin Mobile for the same phone, then $35 a month, which would cost me $1490 for the same two years of service. For people who don't have around $750 in their pocket to buy an iPhone and their first month of service outright, subsidizing through Verizon is the only option. For people who have money in their pocket and want to save money in the long run, a pay-as-you-go plan is not only cheaper but offers greater flexibility in activating and deactivating at any time with no fees.
    I plan on picking up the iPhone 4S on Virgin Mobile at the beginning of July when my next bonus check comes from work.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 8, 2012 3:29 AM
    jvc21: Paying full price for the iPhone on Virgin Mobile is far cheaper than doing a contract on AT&T or Sprint in the long run. I paid $600 for an HTC One S to use on a prepaid plan, and in the long run it will cost much less than a contract would've, especially if I decide not to keep it a full 2 years.

    If you can't pony up $650, maybe you ought to entertain the idea that you can't afford an iPhone and settle for something in your price range. You could alternately try to figure out a way to earn more money, but most people would rather not go that route because it involves hard work.
  • Display all 9 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    soldier37 , June 8, 2012 3:38 AM
    Meh the Iphone ran its course ending with the Iphone 4. Ive moved on to a masive 5.3 inch galaxy Note and couldnt be happier since. Iphone is no longer relevant.
  • 0 Hide
    coldtortilla , June 8, 2012 5:21 AM
    dtemple you make allot of good points but prepaid carriers here in the states tend to have somewhat disappointing 3G/4G speeds so for some people that need more bandwidth verizon and att may seem worth it to them.
  • 0 Hide
    jerm1027 , June 8, 2012 8:09 AM
    coldtortilladtemple you make allot of good points but prepaid carriers here in the states tend to have somewhat disappointing 3G/4G speeds so for some people that need more bandwidth verizon and att may seem worth it to them.

    Funny you mention AT&T... they have piss-poor coverage in my area. Also, virgin is adopting Sprints WiMAX network as the regular Sprint subscribers will be upgrading to LTE. The one thing that's preventing me from switching to Virgin, however, is that tiny little clause that says they will throttle 3G speeds down to 256Kbps after you use more than 2.5GB. Still unlimited I suppose...
  • 0 Hide
    fatality1515 , June 8, 2012 11:53 AM

    "5.3 inch galaxy Note" - That's not a phone, it's a tablet.. lol
  • 0 Hide
    aethm , June 8, 2012 1:27 PM
    I used Virgin Mobile with an Android phone for 2 years. 35 dollars a month for unlimited data / text and 700 minutes a month for $25. Really can't beat that deal. I think they've raised prices recently but it's still an excellent service. I didn't have any problems with Virgin. 3G speed was fine. Coverage was the same as Sprint.
  • 0 Hide
    dark_lord69 , June 8, 2012 3:20 PM
    "You'll have to pay the full $649 for the 16GB iPhone 4S."
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