Virgin Mobile to Offer Pre-pay iPhone on June 29

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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9 comments
  • 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... -_-
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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