As predicted earlier this week, Virgin Mobile will be the second prepaid wireless carrier to offer the iPhone, following on the heels of debut no-contract provider Cricket. The Sprint subsidiary will begin offering the 16GB iPhone 4S and the 8GB iPhone 4 starting Friday, June 29.
As with Cricket, Virgin will be offering the iPhone largely unsubsidized, meaning that you’ll pay a premium for the handsets: The iPhone 4S will run $649, while the iPhone 4 goes for $549. That’s somewhat more expensive than Cricket’s $500 and $400 prices on the same models, but on par with what Apple charges for an unlocked iPhone.
However, once you shell out for the more expensive phone, Virgin’s plans are pretty reasonable. The company is offering 300 minutes for $35 per month, 1200 minutes for $40 per month, and unlimited minutes for $50 per month. All three plans come with unlimited SMS and “unlimited” data (on which Virgin enforces a 2.5GB fair usage policy). For an additional $15 per month, you can add tethering—which also includes “3.5GB per month of full speed data.” In addition, you can take $5 off any of those monthly fees by signing up for automatic monthly payments.
As far as coverage goes, Virgin Mobile uses Sprint’s network in the U.S., so nationwide access is available, but it tends to be somewhat spotty in many non-urban areas.
Once they go on sale later this month, customers will be able to pick up an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S on Virgin from the company’s website, or from retail locations like Best Buy and RadioShack.
Updated June 11 at 8:30 a.m. PT to clarify that Virgin Mobile's iPhones will go on sale at RadioShack and Best Buy, but not (as previously stated) Target and Walmart.