Virgin Mobile iPhone 4S pre-paid plans start from $30, all details here

Virgin Mobile iPhone 4S pre-paid plans start from $30, all details here
Virgin Mobile is the first carrier in the United States to offer the iPhone 4S with no contract ties. Up until yesterday, that wasn’t even official, and today Virgin is laying out all the details to its pre-paid plans for the iPhone 4S, and turns out there are some significant savings if you manage to swallow the initial tough pill of a fully priced $649 iPhone 4S.

After that though you’re not locked into a 2-year agreement, and you get to pay much less monthly. Below is a quick comparison between Sprint and Virgin Mobile’s plans - we’ve picked Sprint since that’s the network Virgin roams on, so the two should be somewhat similar in the service they offer.

We’ve used our user EclipseGSX’s base calculations with some tweaks to reflect the current reality, so here’s how it breaks down:

Virgin Mobile 
Plan: $50 Unlimited plan x 24 months (no commitment)
* includes 2.5GB of 3G data a month, unlimited throttled data after allowance
Device: $649 iPhone 4
Total: $1849

Plan: $99.99 Unlimited Plan x 24 months (2-year commitment)
Device: $199 iPhone 4S
Total: $2599

The end result as you can probably see is savings of nearly $750 over 2 years. Not a bad deal, is it? The iPhone 4S and 4 will be available on Virgin Mobile on June 29th.

Related phones

iPhone 4s
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A5, Dual-core, 800 MHz
  • Storage 64GB



1. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Ugh, my comment disappeared when I was fixing a typo...

3. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

*Disclaimer* I had posted an organized, well thought out (considering the time of day) and comprehensive comment, but somehow in the midst of adding another point for clarification, the whole thing got deleted. Here's a summary: While $375 per year savings sounds great and all, there's a lot that one doesn't get for that price. This is 3G only, throttled after 2.5 GB, has a very high initial cost of activation, and no recourse if the service is less than satisfactory: you're stuck with a phone locked to one carrier that only another customer on that carrier would buy if trying to sell used. There's no 4G, unknown quality of customer service, unknown warranty or insurance options, iffy roaming options, I don't believe it's an international-capable phone (or one has to call or pay to have it unlocked), and it's still last year's model. On top of that, it's an iphone, and paying $650 for it seems less and less worthwhile when there are "better" (arguably, but let's not digress) phones available for equivalent or less money, even off contract. If I had to have an iphone (and I shudder at the thought... It feels repulsive looking at one, let alone holding or using one), I'd personally go with AT&T, because they've had it the longest, so they know how to deal with it, they're used to working with apple, they offer the fastest speeds for any version (especially the most recent) period, they offer service discounts for being employed with just about any large company, they have the best setup for 4G distribution and execution (even though the current iphone is using the tech that was introduced in early 2011), they're straightfoward with warranty and insurance options (and no deductible for warranty claims, which I've started seeing on some carriers), and, while their data plans are capped, they're the most generous for the money, and I wouldn't get up to those thresholds anyway. (continued)

17. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Most people will get the iPhone 4S for the $30 a month plan like myself. It's a no brainer that this is a great deal and I have no problems giving up my grandfathered $25 a month plan. I monitored my data usage on my Moto Triumph for the past 11 months and I usually use less than 1.1 GB of data a month with a peak of 1.4 GB. If I want more data or 4G data, I can always up my data usage via my Verizon LTE hotspot. As for web surfing, Steve Jobs was right, it is a better experience with the iPad. Most of my web surfing is done at home or at a place with Wifi such at Starbucks, McDonalds, Denny's, my local truck stop, etc. Even my local laundrymat has free wifi (download speeds of 6 Mbps). That means the only time I would use my Triumph or any 3G cellphone is when I am not connected to free wifi or at home.

22. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Do you work for AT&T and something. In short this is a GOOD deal.

28. ApphoIe

Posts: 78; Member since: May 31, 2012

LMFAO, you would think that. WELCHER

23. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

honestly, i have to agree with ardent on this one. the money is very much in your favor on the virgin plan, for an iphone. If you dont like the cost of the phone... wait 2 months or so and u can pick one up used for probably like 500ish and save a few bux that way. However, I wouldnt go with virgin. I dont need the minutes. If i were to go on a prepaid plain, it would be tmobile's $30, unlimted text, 5 gig 4g web, and 100 minute plan. Its on a larger carrier with the nations largest (and one of the fastest) 4g network. For the way I use data, thats a much much better deal. And besides, with Tmobile refarming their 1900 spectrum into HSPA+, all GSM iphones are/will be 3g compatible. So pick up any used iphone and get on that plan instead.

24. jenna_23

Posts: 145; Member since: Apr 02, 2010

remixfa we get it u love t-mobile i noticed u always bring in t-mobile in every single article i read in here. Besides it not up to u what people want to get if they want to spend 700 bucks on a cheap iphone 4s with sloow virgin 3G let them be i kno i would personally never do that im happy with at&t and verizon which are both faster than t-mobile and have more coverage.

31. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Exactly Jenna, also there's that problem that most people don't want T-Mobile because their network is too small. Everyone I know with TMO is not satisfied with the coverage. While it may work well in some metro areas, everytime I have used it outide of interstates and major metros I have poor service or loose it all together. Virgin, running on Sprint's network, has much better coverage. Although I know speeds may be slow in some areas right now, by next year, their nationwide network will be fully upgraded and even 3G speeds will be very fast.

4. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

With respect to the author, while the article does offer some good points about cost comparisons, its outlook was too limited, I believe, and therefore a trifle misleading. For one, in fairness to prepaid carriers, it didn't factor in upgrade fees. It also didn't factor in taxes spent on equipment or monthly charges, especially as some states will charge significantly higher taxes depending on the cost of the item (I believe California, for instance, has a sliding "luxury tax" scale on any electronic item at $250, $500, 750, etc, I don't recall the exact thresholds, as I live in the midwest. If I did live there, I'd feel compelled to go to another state just to avoid that sort of thing) so a $650 iphone might cost $800 or something out of pocket, versus $250 for the subsidized cost (again, all depends on tax laws and such, this is just speculative). It also didn't factor in the typical upgrade period for phones on the 3 major carriers that offer the iphone, being typically between 12-20 (usually closer to 18-20 for smartphones on individual plans) months in between. So while a customer taking advantage of that would have to pay for another phone before the end of the 24-month agreement, as well as its upgrade fee (which I don't quite agree with), they're only paying the subsidized cost for it, whereas the prepaid customer is paying full price again. Thus, as an outlook over 2 years or more, prepaid is less and less of a cost saver, and can even be more expensive, depending on how often one purchases a new phone. This is again factored against the presumption there is only one phone every 2 years, with no inputs as for any warranty or insurance options. Say one's phone had something happen to it that warranted an insurance claim. On the major four carriers, simple process if they elected to pay the extra charges monthly (or initially when purchasing the phone, depending on where they got it). Pay deductible, new phone is in-hand within a business day or two (or three). The deductible I'm personally aware of for the iphone (and I haven't researched it on Verizon or Sprint, to be honest) is $199 on AT&T. So if one were on prepaid and their iphone needed replacement, they're looking at another $650, whereas the postpaid customer is only out about (not including taxes and such) $400 for their two phones. Yet again, prepaid appears a more risky choice. (continued)

15. Roomaku

Posts: 278; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

But Virgin has a phone insurance for 5$ a month, they will get you a new phone if it's damaged, lost, stolen, or water damaged in 24 hours in most cases. There is a deductable but it's been pretty reasonable over the years, and shouldn't be that high. So if you look at the cost you will be paying 35$ if you go with auto pay (30$ with 5$ discount, add 5$ insurance). It's a pretty good deal if you average it out even if you are only saving 400+ dollar over 2 years. Plus you can change your phone to an Android if you feel like it at anytime. So as far as warranty goes Virgin has you covered.

5. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

In short, while prepaid seems appealing from a monthly standpoint, in terms of total cost, customer satisfaction for service and replacement options, upgrades, and overall usage (again, just looking at the iphone, as 4G and LTE services widen the gap even futher in postpaid's favor, but super-cheap basic phones for those who need just a little usage widen it in prepaid's favor), it's hardly worth it, especially as pretty much everyone will have a phone for many years, and doing all the math beyond the initial 2 years doesn't come up in prepaid's favor. That is all offset, however, if one buys cheaper, or used, or refurbished phones. It is also a bit different if using one of the major carriers' prepaid options (I believe AT&T offers unlimited everything with similar restrictions to other prepaid services for $50 per month, but I believe it limits what smartphones can be used on it, probably no iphones) All that being said, I'll stick with T-Mobile and my Android and Windows Phones, thanks. I can pay full price on equipment if I want and save money monthly, or pay a subsidized rate and have an additional $10-25 per month added to my phone bill for it for less out-of-pocket starting costs, with insurance and warranty options easily within reach

25. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Read the whole long comment (took 3 posts to make it) first. I address all these points

2. residualhatred

Posts: 25; Member since: May 28, 2012

Everyone keeps thinking that prepaid service is of less quality than postpaid. Prepaid service has improved tremendously over the years. Depending on what prepaid company you go with, you will either be on the verizon, at&t, or sprint network. Same as the postpaid customers. The only thing is that postpaid customers get the most up-to-date devices and services. Prepaid with virgin mobile offers insurance on the all their devices just like postpaid. At the moment, an activation fee is not required, but that may change in the future. If you change to a newer device, you will lose your grandfathered rights as with any company. Prepay was originally for customers who could not afford postpaid or had questionable credit. Now its a different landscape. Prepaid has been a few step behind, but these days they are catching up as far as service is concern. They are even putting out devices with Android 4.0 out of the box. People have to make the best decision for themselves as to which service they choose. Either way, you will still be able to do the, text, and data. If they want the wow factor, then postpaid is the way to go. If you want affordable, the prepaid is the way to go.

18. Roomaku

Posts: 278; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

Your totally right, Virgins new phones are coming with ICS 4.0 out of the box no waiting for it to be sent out, with a pretty much stock experience. Plus you save money, and with Straight Talk you can use any phone,change your phone anytime, and only pay 45$ a month, half of Verizon. In terms of data caps, the companies should reserve the right to limit data, but not terminate your service, but still advertise "unlimited data". Yeah prepaid is a better deal just some people think it's still for poor people and people with bad credit, when in reality it's for people who are smart or want to save 850$ a year :)

6. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Too long, didn't read. Android beware, now that the iPhone is going prepaid, your days are numbered.

8. greathero1

Posts: 584; Member since: Jun 13, 2008

Lol! False! $649 to play ball for an iPhone when the Evo with ICS is $299. You might get a few people to bite but I am thinking most prepaid buyers will want to save that $350.

10. Mxyzptlk unregistered

There's no Evo with ICS for $299. I'd rather shell out $650 for a quality device than shell out $300 for a poorly made HTC device.

12. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1778; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Uh yea they do its called the EVO V 4G. You FAIL

19. Roomaku

Posts: 278; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

Yeah Virgin has it, and all there new phones are shipping with ICS.

26. BREvenson

Posts: 240; Member since: May 17, 2012

There is the EVO V 4G (their version of the EVO 3D), which has ICS for $299...and soon Virgin will have another HTC phone running ICS: they announced the One V is coming, and that one will cost $199...not as impressive of a phone, but easier on the wallet than the EVO V or the iPhone. Leave it to you to turn this into an anti-Android argument without even getting your facts straight.

9. hepresearch unregistered

"Too long, didn't read." I have to ask... mostly out of curiosity... how in the world did you survive reading assignments in high school?

11. Mxyzptlk unregistered

This isn't high school.

16. hepresearch unregistered

Okay, so when it comes to actual reading (as in more than three or four paragraphs at a time), you would describe yourself as "out-of-practice"? I would have asked about college reading assignments, but I figured I had better start with a more simple threshold...

20. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

You didn't answer the question. When someone ask you for the time, replying it's time to get a watch is generally frowned upon.

29. chrischau1308

Posts: 53; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

maybe English is his/her second language, I guess... Anyway, I read :D :D !

7. greathero1

Posts: 584; Member since: Jun 13, 2008

EclipseGSX has hit it big time! Dude they used your calculations. Now you need to email them and ask for a check or something. You did contribute right lol!

13. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1778; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Haha nice I should :)

14. airisoverrated

Posts: 55; Member since: Jun 08, 2012

Wow -box-, while you criticize the article for being too narrow, you are going way to far outside the box. Lets keep this simple and compare iPhone plans to iPhone plans, not to every phone option and plan under the sun. Fact is for an iPhone this is a good deal if you can afford the upfront cost of the phone, and can deal with the coverage area. While the price of the phone is high, a base of $30 a month for 300 min and unlimited text and data is really appealing. Totally unlimited even more so (throttling not withstanding, postpaid carriers do this too). And as for the comment on 4G, lets keep in mind that no iPhone is 4G LTE ready, so it's not really a knock on Virgin Mobile as much as the device itself. The only real limitation is compared to AT&T where you can surf while on a call (handy for those of us who sit on conference calls). Recent tests also show Sprint/Virgin's 3G as a bit slower than others. But for the huge monthly savings, I think the average user will never notice the difference.

21. Roomaku

Posts: 278; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

Yeah I mean what is Virgin supposed to do? It's not like they have that much control, the only reason they are getting the iPhone is because of Sprint. Sprint probably dictated the pricing, or apple, so they still see a profit on each iPhone sold. If you save money in the long run it's worth the initial cost of the phone, as long as you insure your purchase. Honestly Virgin and Prepaid all together is infringing on the way that people pay for service, It's just a better deal overall

27. kindlefireowner

Posts: 504; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Speedtest today on my virgin mobile smartphone. Download 0.08mbs. Upload 0.08mbs. Would you pay $500 to use this slow unreliable network.

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