Days after Leap Wireless announced it would be the first prepaid carrier in the U.S. to offer the iPhone, Sprint’s Virgin Mobile division is set to throw its hat into the iPhone ring.
The Wall Street Journal cites “people familiar with the company’s plans” in its report that Virgin Mobile could start selling iPhones as soon as July 1.
What’s unknown is how much Virgin will charge for the service or for the actual phones. The company currently has a $35/month unlimited data plan (which is actually throttled after 2.5 GB/month), but that would be $20 less expensive than the $55 plan to be offered by Leap.
It’s also not known whether the Virgin iPhones would count toward Sprint’s commitment to purchase $15.5 billion worth of iPhones during the next four years.
Prepaid service has been a growth business for Sprint, which added 489,000 customers to Virgin and Boost Mobile in the first quarter of the year, while Sprint lost 192,000 contract customers.
Virgin has a big leg-up on Leap in the iPhone game, as the latter company’s service can only be purchased by about 20% of the U.S. population, while Virgin has access to Sprint’s network, which covers most more than four times the number of people.
Sprint’s Virgin Mobile to Offer iPhone [WSJ.com]