MarketWatch reports that Sprint is gearing up to offer Apple’s iPhone with prepaid plans through Virgin Mobile USA – its pay-to-go brand as early as July 1st.
Cricket Wireless had announced last week that it will start offering Apple’s iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 on its network from June 22nd, which would make them the first carrier in the US to offer iPhone with prepaid plans.
The Overland Park, Kan., carrier will announce this week it will offer the popular smartphone on its Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go brand starting as soon as July 1, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. Sprint follows Leap Wireless International Inc. in selling the device with prepaid service.
By offering the iPhone, Sprint may help satisfy its commitment to Apple to buy $15.5 billion of the phones over four years, an aggressive bet as more carriers are getting access to the once-exclusive device. Sprint’s prepaid service, which also includes the Boost Mobile brand, has been its lone area of growth as contract customers have fled.
Virgin Mobile’s pricing for the iPhone is not yet known. Cricket Wireless is offering the 16GB iPhone 4S will cost $499 and 8GB iPhone 4 will cost $399 with $55 per-month, all-inclusive unlimited talk, text and data plan. Cricket Wireless will throttle the speed after 2.3GB of data usage per month.
Virgin Mobile currently offers a prepaid plans that start at $35 a month and offer unlimited data, although Virgin Mobile also throttles the speed after 2.5GB of usage. We doubt Virgin will offer Apple’s iPhone at that price point.
It remains to be seen if Boost Mobile – Sprint’s other pay-as-you-go brand will also be offering Apple’s iPhone with prepaid plans.