Today, Virgin Mobile has become the second U.S. prepaid provider to make iPhone’s availability official. Virgin Mobile iPhone will be launched on June 29th, just one week after Cricket’s release. Same as Cricket, both 8GB iPhone 4 and 16GB iPhone 4S will be offered but at the significant difference in pricing.
While Cricket’s iPhone 4 is priced at $399.99 and iPhone 4S at $499.99, Virgin Mobile will raise its iPhone prices for $150. Therefore, an 8GB iPhone 4 will cost $549 while 16GB iPhone 4S will be available for $649. Even though its sounds unfair comparing to Cricket’s offer, still, savings with Virgin are based on monthly costs.
iPhone on Cricket requires $55 per month plan with unlimited talk, messages and data that gets throttled after 2.3GB per month. iPhone on Virgin Mobile will work with Virgin’s $55 unlimited plan but users would also be able to choose plans with unlimited messages and data but fewer minutes. For $35 per month, users have unlimited messages, data and 300 minutes while for $45 per month, they have more, 1200 minutes. In addition, Virgin Mobile throttles data to 256 kbps after 2.5GB per month of full speed data.
As if that’s not enough, Virgin is offering even more discounts on its plans. Those who choose automatic refill with a credit or debit card or PayPal account, will get $5 discount every month, which makes the lowest monthly plan with iPhone cost $30 or unlimited one for $50. However, since Virgin Mobile charges taxes for each state when automatic refill is considered, try to avoid it by using a refill PIN bought locally or online.
Virgin Mobile iPhone will also be capable of turning into mobile hotspot for an extra $15 per month but in that case, any plan’s data allotment will be raised to 3.5GB per month of full speed data.
The difference between Cricket and Virgin Mobile’s pricing of iPhones is significant and it’s hard to guess if users would be able to see benefits of one over another. In any way, those who find iPhones too expensive can always choose something cheaper as recently released HTC EVO V 4G that uses Sprint’s WiMAX network.