updated 09:24 am EDT, Thu June 7, 2012
Carrier hikes phone prices over Cricket levels
Sprint has confirmed that, as reported previously, Virgin Mobile will become the next US prepaid iPhone carrier. The company is planning to charge substantially more for devices than rival Cricket Wireless; whereas Cricket will sell an 8GB iPhone 4 for $400, and a 16GB iPhone 4S for $500, the same devices will cost $549 and $649 through Virgin. Virgin subscribers will however have access to cheaper monthly plans when the iPhone becomes available to them on June 29.
All of the plans include unlimited texting and data, though as with other Virgin smartphones data is throttled after 2.5GB per month. A $30 plan includes 300 voice minutes, whereas $40 offers 1,200 minutes, and $50 allows unlimited talking. Enabling wireless tethering will cost an extra $15, but raise the throttling threshold to 3.5GB.
CNET notes that the Virgin Mobile deal should help Sprint make use of its agreement with Apple, which involved a massive purchasing deal that will end up costing it $15.5 billion by the end of 2015. There is still no word on whether Sprint's other prepaid subsidiary, Boost Mobile, might get iPhones in the near future.