It has emerged that Virgin Mobile will be the second prepaid wireless network provider to offer the iPhone. Virgin will start providing contracts for the 16GB iPhone 4S and 8GB iPhone 4 by June 29.
The first prepaid wireless network provider to offer iPhone deals was Cricket, and like the debut no-contract provider, Virgin will for the large part offer the iPhone unsubsidized. This means that a premium would have to be paid by consumers for handsets. For example, the iPhone 4S, it has been revealed, will be sold for $649, the equivalent of £417.
The iPhone 4 will go for slightly cheaper at $549, the equivalent of £352. The prices of both will be considerably more expensive than Cricket’s $500 and $400 prices for the same models respectively. However, these prices do correspond with that which Apple charge for unlocked iPhones.
Virgin’s contract plans seem to be fair and sensible. A total of 300 minutes are offered for £35 per month price plans, while 1200 minutes are available for the $40 per month plan. For $50 per month you receive unlimited minutes and all three contracts behold unlimited data and SMS. That said however, there is a “2.5GB fair usage policy, and so it’s not quite unlimited.
All in all, the move signals Virgin’s intent on dominating the American market to a similar extent by which Richard Branson’s company does in the UK. The company is a subsidiary of the more dominant telecommunications provider in the United States, Sprint. Virgin currently use Sprints telecommunications resources over in the United States, and such a move with Apple will signal a strong step in individuality by the British company.
Customers will be able to buy the iPhone on Virgin in the United States off the network’s official website, or through most licensed stores nationwide.