Virgin Mobile to Offer Prepaid iPhone Starting June 29
June 7, 2012 9:50 AM
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Virgin Mobile iPhones are not cheap
People not wanting to go through the bother of a credit check with a traditional wireless carrier will soon be able to get iPhone via prepaid carrier Virgin Mobile. Wireless networks are increasingly
focusing on prepaid service
as a way to gain subscribers and profits.
Virgin Mobile will offer the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S on its prepaid network starting on June 29. Both phones will be available on its Beyond Talk unlimited data and messaging plans starting as low as $30 per month. Purchasing the iPhone will require no contract and there are no fees for activating the phone or roaming charges.
New and existing Virgin Mobile customers will be able to pick up the iPhone online or at Radio Shack and Best Buy locations. The basic iPhone Beyond Talk unlimited data plan is $35 monthly with a $5 monthly discount for people that register for automatic payments with a credit card or PayPal account. Virgin Mobile will also allow the iPhone to be used as a mobile hotspot for an additional $15 monthly.
“This month marks Virgin Mobile USA’s tenth birthday,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. “And what better way to thank our fans for ten years of loyalty than by giving them exactly what they want: the perfect plan for the perfect phone. That is the essence of ‘A Higher Calling.’”
Virgin Mobile is charging heavily for the iPhone on its network to with an 8 GB iPhone 4 selling for $549 and a 16 GB iPhone 4S selling for $649. The $30 monthly plan gets 300 voice minutes and unlimited text and data. A $40/month plan gets you 1200 voice minutes with unlimited text and data. For $50/month, users can get unlimited voice, text, and data.
Virgin Mobile wireless services operate on the Sprint Nationwide Network.
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6/7/2012 11:42:57 AM
I actually switched to Virgin Mobile from Verizon Wireless this very month. I took a downgrade in terms of phones (from Samsung Galaxy S II to the HTC Evo V 4G), but honestly I haven't noticed a huge difference.
My phone is, of course, rooted, with Link2SD & Superuser installed, so while the 4 GB internal memory is kind of pathetic, the 32 GB SanDisk Mobile Ultra Micro SDHC card more than makes up it.
I haven't seen an awful lot of difference in my area (Northern Mississippi) between Verizon and Sprint. They both suck compared to C-Spire, but C-Spire doesn't offer any prepaid options, or if they do, I'm not even interested in them.
With Virgin Mobile, at least here, I spend $45 a month for 1200 minutes and unlimited texts / data. Honestly, most of communication is through text message, e-mail, or some other data stream. I've used 293 minutes so far this month. That's less than 25% of my plan. I fully expect that 1200 minutes each month will suffice. If it doesn't, then I'll pay a whopping $10 more and get unlimited everything.
My baby sister also has a Virgin Mobile phone, unfortunately, she doesn't have the same level of discretionary income, so she has a truly pathetic model - the HTC Wildfire S. Still though, it works marvelously where she lives - West Palm Beach, Florida. In fact, when I was visiting her last week, I was stunned at the quality of coverage there compared to where I live. 3G speeds were much faster there. Data speeds seem to top out around 200 KBytes/s here. Sometimes as high as 600 KB/s, but I've never documented anything faster.
Some people say the 2.5 GB cap is problematic. I can agree, if you're watching YouTube videos constantly. However, I'm usually trying to get work done with my phone. I also tether, which technically I'm not supposed to do, but PDANet can (supposedly) hide it, and even if I do get caught, the savings from Verizon to Virgin Mobile will allow me to buy a hotspot device and pay the $35 a month for 2 GB of data. $80 a month would give me 1200 minutes, 2.5 GB on the phone, 2 gigs on the hotspot. With Verizon I was paying $109.99 a month for 1500 minutes, 2000 texts, and I think 5 GB of data.
Best thing about Virgin Mobile is when I hit the data cap on my phone, I don't get cut off either. I just get slowed down. My idiot ex-girlfriend ran up a ridiculous data charge on my phone (extra $700 one month). I nearly flipped my lid.
I will NEVER... not EVER... go back to Verizon, or AT&T, or C-Spire. For as long as Virgin Mobile exists and provides somewhat relevant smartphones (and while I hate Apple, the iPhone 4S they're getting is definitely relevant), they'll have me as a customer.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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