No longer a pre-paid virgin, Apple iPhone 4S could come to Virgin Mobile on July 1st
Sprint already has a $15.5 billion contract to offer the Apple iPhone over four years, but the carrier lost 192,000 customers in Q1. At the same time, Sprint added 489,000 pre-paid subscribers to both of its pre-paid subsidiaries, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. This appears to be a case of Sprint putting merchandise where the buyers are. Neither Sprint nor Apple would comment and pricing was not disclosed. After the Cricket deal was announced, rumors that the Apple iPhone would be coming to Boost Mobile started up almost instantly.
Leap will offer the 16GB Apple iPhone 4S for $499.99 without a contract for Cricket customers. The older 8GB Apple iPhone 4 will be made available for $399.99. While Cricket's iPhone customers will be able to use their device anywhere in the States, it will only be available to the 60 million people within Virgin's network, or 20% of the U.S. population. Virgin, on the other hand, reaches 278 million people. While it is not known if Apple iPhone users will be able to use it, Virgin offers a $35 monthly unlimited text, talk and data plan that throttles customers once they exceed 2.5GB of data used in a month.
source: WSJ via Engadget
1. good2great (Posts: 1042; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)
there u have it folks! The Cupertino-based company has recognized the threat of Android becoming the "people's choice" smartphone and has responded.
2. DroogV59 (Posts: 37; Member since: 02 Jun 2011)
It`s not a threat, Android already is the people`s choice.
7. good2great (Posts: 1042; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)
who would have ever thought that the iPhone would be offered to prepaid customers...lol
it's lost its "coolness"
12. stealthd (Posts: 1067; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)
Just like Coca-Cola is "the people's choice". Pointless statements are pointless.
34. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)
People can get android for a low as $80 at Walmart for no contract phones. Most of the android devices sold there are $129 to $150. Even the ZTE Warp with its 4.3" screen only goes for $180 if you like Boost.
I recently asked a Metro customer if he liked his Huawei device. It was his first android device and he loved it -- cost him $55 for the phone and $55 a month. He liked being able to watch youtube in his 3"+ small screen. I didn't have the heart to pull out my Moto Triumph and tell him I am only paying $25 a month for 2.5 GB of 3G data on a better network.
A lot of people are happy using android, since it is a big improvement over a basic phone, but the average buyer of android is someone who financially challenged unlike the average android reader on this site.
13. ApphoIe (banned) (Posts: 78; Member since: 31 May 2012)
How so? If you mean spec wise then you are greatly mistaken, this really isn't open for debate. Explain to me how it is "best", please. I'll wait while you make sh*t up.
Although if you are refering to as far as pre paid offerings go, then yes, I suppose the iphone probably is the "best". Congrats, iphone is now lord of the ghetto.
17. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)
And prepaid was suppose to help people save money. who the hell wants to buy a 500$ phone when bunch of idiots wants to buy a iPhone when they have soo many bills to pay. it's kinda dumb if you ask me
20. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)
My prediction is the iPhone will start to fade out, and wont do well in the budget conscious prepaid market now that you have so many awesome Android phones, even off contract. In this economy who would want to pay a ridiculous 500.00 for the obviously surpassed iPhone, when you can have much better for half that amount? And the status symbol play is out too, since you can't claim to be "superior" to everyone, since your precious iPhone is prepaid.
22. gallitoking (Posts: 4718; Member since: 17 May 2011)
and then when your prediction doesn't come true.you will backpedal saying that are brainwash... I know the routine..
23. ApphoIe (banned) (Posts: 78; Member since: 31 May 2012)
This ^^^ f*cking guy, that's who! He's slightly less retarded than taco, but he tries his best and makes the best goddam macaroni pictures in the whole special ed class!
28. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)
I think you are more retarded then he is because you are trolling on a Apple article.
30. ApphoIe (banned) (Posts: 78; Member since: 31 May 2012)
And you're defending gallito. Think about that for a second. That makes you either an alt of his or a f*cking idiot too!
37. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)
and you're always bashing on everyone commets. Iphone is a expensive piece of hardware everyone CAN'T AFFORD A 500$ phone. PREPAID is suppose to help you save money and can cancel you're prepaid phone with NO COST OF ETF
40. bvalde09 (Posts: 177; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
Im gonna support GallitoKing in a way. I would rather buy a phone no contract no question ask than being on a 2 year contract at the end you end up paying more for the device itself. Iphone is a brand that sell for itself. I dont see anything wrong and I think is a very smart move that the Iphone is being offer to prepaid carriers
35. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)
Just the opposite will happen. For the longest time, the major carriers didn't want their no contract customers to get access to the best phone and thus these customers were left with old and unpopular devices.
In the US market, Virgin proved this business model wrong with it introduced the Moto Triumph (a clone of a Huawei device) for $300. It proved people like myself were willing to a pay a for premium device. Boost introduced the ZTE Warp for $250 and soon the other no contract carriers (like Net10, tracfone, StraightTalk, Tmobile, etc) followed Virgin's ground breaking action. Right now, most android devices are crappy mid-tier 3.2" to 3.5" devices with poor camcorders. The iPhone on Cricket changes this business model.
People want to pay a fair price for their device and save on the monthly fees. I own a Moto Triumph for $300 but only pay $25 a month for 2.5 GB of 3G data. Today, I would pay $200 for the Sumsung Exhibit II and pay $30 a month for 5 GB of 4G data. Paying $70 to $90 a month over a 2-year contract to save $300 on a handset is crazy in my opinion. By paying only $25 a month on Virgin, I estimate I saved about $40 a month and over the 12 months that I owned the device, I saved $480 versus being on a contract thus justifying the $300 payment for the phone.
The same applies to the iPhone -- the iPhone 4S will be the device on the prepaid market and paying $500 for the phone will still be a bargain if I can get the $35 plan for Virgin.
33. kindlefireowner (Posts: 495; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
What a stupid post. Apple is making 15 billion dollars from Sprint on this deal. Sprint has brought more iphones then they can sell on contract. So they are selling them on prepaid to cut there loses. You might want to lay off the kool-aid.
43. lsutigers (Posts: 817; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)
Well Sprint's next quarter should look better with their Network Vision upgrades / LTE and I think within a year, they will be adding customers left and right as their network will be second to none and they are set to have quite an arsenal of top tier phones. On the other hand, Sprint's prepaid Group, Virgin and Boost Mobile keep adding what used to be top tier devices on Sprint less than a year ago and are still awesome phones. Competition is heating up, and this is very good for consumers.
3. rockstarlive (Posts: 307; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
I wonder what the price is, that's the key. I think its gonna be $199-250 anything higher than $300 then it won't sell well.
8. ApphoIe (banned) (Posts: 78; Member since: 31 May 2012)
False, until a month ago the 4S STARTED at $200 (on contract obviously). Virgin sells a 2-3 year old motorola triumph for $300 and that...thing....is more dated than the iphone 4. Mark my words, pre paid iphones will START at $400 maybe, more likely $450-$500. And I disagree, it WILL sell. Ghetto asses that cannot get approved for big boy contracts or people with crap credit will gobble them up.
15. theBankRobber (Posts: 674; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)
The triumph has the same spec wise as the Evo 4G and IPhone4. All 3 have 1ghz CPU and 512mb of ram, and STOP saying this is for getto people who can't afford a contract. You sound just as stupid and uneducated as iPhone users always saying people buy android because they can't afford the iPhone, even though they are the same price with contract . If you look at the price for non contract plans, they are really good. I don't use more then a gig of Data on sprint but pay twice as more then pre paid users.
24. Republican (Posts: 99; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)
The iPhone was made for the Elite. The scum in the guetto can have flip phones or worse yet, droids. Prepaid iPhones? Blasphemy!!!
26. omarc26 (Posts: 360; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
U are are stupid i worked at verizon and currently att and everyone can sign a 2 year contract even people without papers with there mexican matricula consular card so yea everyone gets approved i dnt know were u got if big boy companies dnt approve em for a contract with or without papers a social, or people with bad credit as long as they have money to pay a deposit they get approved and i mean everyone. Sure they rather go to prepaid companies but thats there decision they can do whatever they want. i Have had those few customers that walk in and have money for the 450 dollar deposit and dnthave a social and papers and use there matricula consular no need for fake id cuz the matricula is an official document that works like an id u can go to bars, buy cigs and buy drinks if older than 21 and they walk out with an iphone 4s or android phone and stuck in a loong 2 year agreement just like someone with a social and papers so yeaaa them "ghetto" people as u call them can also afford 2 year contracts and no i dnt discriminate against them i treat them like i treat everyone i try my best to help them.
36. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)
Moto Triumph currently has a list price of $279.99. However, it has been on sale at Best Buys for $229.99.
I am very eager to trade in my Moto Triumph for a $500 no contract iPhone 4S if Virgin offers the $35 a month plan. For me, it means I would lose my grandfathered $25 a month plan at Virgin, but it will be worth it for the 8 MP shooter and iOS. Plus I can resell the 4S for about $300 in two years meaning my NET COST will be $200 for the depreciation of the phone over 2 years or about $8.33 a month. As soon as I get the iPhone, I will enclose it in an Otterbox Reflex case and possibly a Zagg screen.
By the way, I might be lucky to get $120 for my gently used Moto Triumph meaning I lost $180 in depreciation value over 1 year thus translating into a month depreciation cost of $15 a month. The $180 number doesn't include the Zagg screen a case that I spent to keep the Triumph safe.
41. ApphoIe (banned) (Posts: 78; Member since: 31 May 2012)
1. Your triumph is literally next to worthless. Nextworth literally says "sorry, this phone has no value", so I'm not sure where you're thinking you're going to trade it in at.
2. You are out of your f*cking mind if you seriously think you're going to sell a 4S for $300 2 years from now.
4. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3099; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
Madonna was so smoking back in those days.
5. shadowcell (Posts: 300; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)
Did you click the link hoping for an larger scaled pic like I did? This article didn't deliver...
9. omarc26 (Posts: 360; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
what about boost mobile and metro pcs? From what i heard boost also uses sprints network dnt kno nothing bout metro... i dnt kno if virgin will get the iphone but if they really do i think it would also be fair for boost to get it since it already uses sprints network like virgin .
14. jrv462 (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Jun 2012)
This makes a lot of sense for all parties involved. Here's why: 1) Apple wants to squeeze as much as they can out of the 4 and 4S supplies before they release the 5 this fall. I doubt the 5 will come to prepaid networks, it will likely have a 1-2 year delay just like the 4 and 4S. The iPhone 4S will clearly be the superior choice on the prepaid networks as the other options are typically 1-2 y/o Android phones that pale in terms of battery life, camera, design, etc. Apple will make money off this arrangement. 2) This works for the carriers, mainly Sprint, because they will find it easier to meet their contractual obligations to Apple. It will also draw more customers to the prepaid carriers because they are CHEAPER. 3) Many customers on VM/Boost/Cricket might not have good credit, or maybe they're involved in a grey market business and don't want their business activities linked to their name. Regardless, these carriers provide services to that demographic. This deal will also please cheapskate customers because if you do the math, 2 iPhone 4S with VM's $55/month unlimited deal will save you over $2,000 over 2 years versus a similar unlimited family-plan deal with Verizon. I know, Verizon's network is far superior to VM's, but if you live in an area with Sprint reception and WiFi in your house, do you really need reception that covers most of rural America?
Full Disclosure: I am a VM subscriber. I'm using the low-end LG Optimus V. I'm looking forward to upgrading to an iPhone, or maybe even a nicer Android phone if available (are you listening VM?). It's a trade-off to me. I can either spend $1,000+ more a year for a more prestigious wireless network, one that I might actually have a need for once or twice a year, e.g., on a road trip or when i'm some place rural, or I can fork out the money upfront, own my phone free of contract, take that $1,000/year and put it to better use.
16. theBankRobber (Posts: 674; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)
Not a bad way to get ride of older models into the hands of people who want a iPhone, But it would be better for them to get the Evo V 4G. It cost $300 and you get a great phone with wimax 4g (where available lol) 1gb of ram, 1.2ghz dual core CPU and ICS out the box. Plus you can put a 32gb card in it for $20-$25. You just can't beat that kind of deal
19. rockstarlive (Posts: 307; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
I assume the price has to be close to what Google is selling their Galaxy Nexus, which is $399. If Apple really wants to sell it like hotcakes, it would be priced lower than that.
32. taeh1291 (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Jun 2012)
Um...I think this is a good thing. Like all things that past their prime, the iPhone is just getting recycled to the other masses in the form of pre-paid. Good luck to Sprint in hopefully making money on its other subsidiaries.
39. nb2six (Posts: 298; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)
Fantastic more people on Sprints network to continue to slow the data speeds down even more so than they already are.