Virgin Mobile iPhone sales turn out to be a bit lackluster

Virgin Mobile iPhone sales turn out to be a bit lackluster
This was the first weekend of the iPhone’s debut on pre-paid carrier Virgin Mobile. While it’s parent company, Sprint, was hoping for an iPhone bonanza, it is being reported that the opening weekend of sales was a bit lackluster.

Leading up to the launch, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse was confident in the company’s decision to sell the iPhone through Virgin Mobile. "We think there's good demand for high-end devices like the iPhone in the prepaid market," he said in an interview with Bloomberg. "There's a misperception that the prepaid market is only for people that are economically challenged. That's not the case. Our expectation, based on preorders, is that the iPhone will do very well on Virgin."

While Virgin Mobile spokeswoman Jayne Wallace declined to comment on the sales this past weekend, an analyst with BTIG, Walter Piecyk, noted that there were zero iPhone line activation at eight RadioShack and Best Buy location in New York City and San Francisco.

Piecyk noted in a blog post that there was no signage on the stores or marketing material to support the launch. While he believed that there wouldn’t been that many people jumping at the opportunity to buy a pre-paid iPhone, he found the lack of advertising odd. “Phones were available, but the lack of marketing materials and the comments made by the store personnel we spoke to indicated that they did not expect many of their customers to opt for the costlier version of the iPhone,” he said.

Conversely, Cricket, who also just released the iPhone via its pre-paid channel has described opening weekend sales as “brisk,” although it also has not released official sales figures.

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67 Comments

1. disneydad

Posts: 114; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

Not a big surprise. Most consumers are completely unaware of the availability of the iPhone on Virgin Mobile due to, no surprise, no advertising regarding it! I also think a bit of carrier prejudice plays into it as well. People who are traditionally postpaid with ATT and VZ seem to look down on all of the other carriers as inferior in every aspect.

22. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

A lot of people don't even know the difference between prepaid and post paid. When they see the higher price, they immediately get turned off by it. lol Just wish people did their research like how we do.

36. jyippy

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 02, 2012

I am using Virgin Mobile and I was completely unaware about the availability of the iPhone. I was pretty close to buying one but what's stopping me is rumors of iPhone 5 coming out in a couple months.

2. eman99

Posts: 409; Member since: Aug 03, 2010

just look how much there trying to sell it for, you have to be crazy to buy it at that price.

11. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

I am paying $25 a month with Virgin because I paid $300 for the Moto Triumph (btw, it's currently on sale for $229). I could see myself paying $35 a month by stepping up to the $650 iPhone. When you see people paying $80 to $100 a month over two years just save $450 on the phone, you have to ask yourself, which person is really FINANCIALLY crazy. Just do the math: Virgin would cost $840 ($35 times 24 months) plus $650 for a total cost of $1,490 over 2 years while someone on a 2-year contract would pay $2,400 ($100 times 24 months) plus $200 for a total fo $2,600, respectively. I would prefer to pay the $1,490.

24. disneydad

Posts: 114; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

You would think by applying simple mathematical calculations people could grasp the money saving concept. You have no idea, unless you've worked for T-Mobile, how difficult it is for people to understand what you explained. I've told countless people that there is no such thing as a "free" phone. You're paying for it one way or another, either upfront or in your plan. Pick your poison.

54. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yeah, and it's ultimately way cheaper to pay for anything all at once rather than split it into payments and deal with the interest. However, I can tell you that most people don't have 600 to 700 bucks to throw at a phone. That's the kind of money you usually reserve for a full blown laptop. Hell, it's more than I paid for my FIRST CAR. Therefore, what people are paying for is the privilege of not having to pay 600 bucks all at once, as well as the way f**kin' better coverage (and phones!) the contract carriers generally offer.

3. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

Not rocket science to me!!! Their is a reason why they are on Virgin Mobile They don't want a contract! They don't want over priced phones! and they don't want an iphone!! If they wanted a iphone they would have contracts with the Sprint, ATT or VW.

4. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

prepaid customers aren't gonna pay that much for the iphone... come on now... lets be real... if it was $300 then there would have possibly been lines of people to buy it.

5. dcgore

Posts: 234; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

You can't expect people buying an off contranct phone that is about to be updated in 3 months How about launching the iphone 5 when it comes out? I would love to pay $30 a month compared to my $100+ at&t montly bill..

7. denied911

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2012

"$100+" wow just wow, I have for 9$ plenty of sms/calls and 130MB transfer a day

40. hepresearch unregistered

Which country are you in? I am well aware that, here in the US, customers on just about any carrier are getting absolutely taken, more so on some than others, but still it is way overly expensive in the US regardless of carrier, prepaid or postpaid.

12. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

I agree with you about the iPhone 5 -- I would rather spend the $650 on the new iPhone 5 than a 4S if I can wait 3 months.

6. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

At that price I don't think it will sell all that well. A lot of people are on prepaid cause they're broke.

10. TrainFromUkraine

Posts: 95; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

You've got it backwards, sparky. A lot of people are broke because they are on post-paid.

15. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

for real. nothing like paying 140 per line every month just to save 400 on a phone every 2 years.. what a deal! if people actually paid 2 seconds worth of attention to their bill and how much its actually costing them, there would be a mass exodus from ATT and VZW's pricing schemes. You guys are paying an arm and a leg to get what?? The PERCEPTION that your getting better service while paying nearly double or more compared to the value carriers? lol. Super fast speed and great coverage (yea its not as good as VZW's ,but for half the price its darn close enough) you can to to Tmobile. Tmo's prepaid is even cheaper. And there are other MNVOs like Boost,Metro, Walmart, and Virgin as well if you happen to be in their markets. You pay more for the phone with cheaper service, but you pay a ton less over 2 years. For the vast majority of people out there, they are only giving up high monthly bills, as they live in metro areas with coverage by pretty much everyone.

25. disneydad

Posts: 114; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

I concur. The king of reception in my experience is VZ but you have no idea how blinded people are regarding their carriers. I had a friend who was going to sign up himself, his wife, and his son on a T-Mobile Value plan when we had a FL special with the Samsung Gravity Smart, which were free! They had ATT and received no coverage in their house. After learning of the free Wifi calling available to them plus more minutes, texting, and smart phones the father and son were ready to go. AMAZINGLY, the wife did not want to switch. Why?? Because she liked AT&T. My only reply to her was, 'Is there something going on between you and AT&T your husband should know about?'

34. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

exactly. People get in a stubborn mindset or loyalty.. for no reason. Its kind of like our resident idiots that swear all mental capacities (or lack there of) to the all mighty silver fruit. Most people have 3-5 carriers they can chose from for their area. Its absolutely ridiculous to have an issue with one, or to pay out the nose... and never be willing to try something different. Another carrier may work for you.. it might not. But if it does, you will save tons.

29. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

quite spamming the website for T Mobile. We get it you work for them.

32. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

we get it, you dont work. I'm not spamming for Tmobile. They just happen to be the best balance between cheap and coverage/speed. Notice how I also mentioned Boost,Metro, Walmart, and Virgin? Or can you still not read?

45. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Let me tell you about Verizon's in-store tactics of bad-mouthing their competitors, to the extreme... Basically, when I worked for them, the drill went like this: Brainwashing customers into thinking anything other than Verizon sucks. Verizon is the biggest, fastest, has the best phones, best service, you get the point, they thought they were the best at everything, and everyone else was garbage. The epitome of corporate arrogance. Of course, we all know that at the time, and even now, some of those things are not true. For example, AT&T currently has the fastest LTE network, we'll see what happens when Sprint's upgraded networks go live, but as of right now, AT&T is fastest. Heck, even T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ beats out Verizon LTE in speed and coverage. And best customer service and arguably plans goes to Sprint at this time. There are pro's and con's to every company, and even that is cyclical, they trade places being on top. But one thing hasn't changed, Verizon is not the best at everything and not all other carriers suck.

56. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

It's not perception. It's reality. There are some areas that Verizon and AT&T cover which the budget carriers just don't. I can tell you for a fact that when I lived in Western New York paying the extra for Verizon service was incredibly worth it. They were the only carrier with consistently strong coverage.

41. hepresearch unregistered

Yes, they get broke on postpaid, and then switch to prepaid and never leave.

17. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

you must be rich living in your mom's basement. just because your lvl 60 blue elf has 5 million gold in WoW doesnt mean it equates to real money. :)

18. TerryCrowley

Posts: 194; Member since: Jul 31, 2011

I think you mean Night Elf. Theres no blue elves in WoW. GET IT RIGHT NERD.

27. cdgoin

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 28, 2010

Ah... Nerd calling the nerd blue :)

31. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

if I was a WoW nerd, I would have gotten that right. Boom, ya just called yourself out. lol. Are you in Taco's group? Who's whos leader?

38. TerryCrowley

Posts: 194; Member since: Jul 31, 2011

No I ain't in Tacos "group" wtf. Tacos a sillybilly.

35. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Not elf but troll. :D

20. Otterbox

Posts: 71; Member since: Jun 27, 2012

Yup. That's why they're usually given low quality phones on prepaid. The iPhone 4S is the only elite phone on prepaid that carries it.

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