Following the iPhone’s prepaid debut on Cricket Wireless just a week ago, Apple’s hugely popular smartphone is now available on Virgin Mobile. Like Cricket, Virgin is offering the handset on a prepaid basis, with prices starting at as little as $31 per month on the company’s Beyond Talk plan — which includes unlimited data, and unlimited texts.
Take advantage of the company’s offer and you could save yourself around $800 a year.
Up until a year and a half ago, U.S. customers had almost choice of carrier or rate plans when buying an iPhone. That’s something that has changed dramatically. The iPhone’s launch on Verizon and Sprint followed by several regional carriers across the country and the recent introduction of the iPhone as an option on prepaid networks Cricket and Virgin Mobile.
The new prepaid iPhone options may seem pricey because Cricket offers a very limited subsidies to attract iPhone 4 and 4S buyers and Virgin offers no discount or subsidy at all. As we noted earlier, however, paying the cost of the iPhone up front can actually save you money overall if you go with either Cricket or Virgin.
Beyond the upfront costs, however, there’s a big question to consider: will either prepaid carrier be included in the launch of the iPhone 5? While there isn’t a solid answer at this point, it seems likely that they won’t.
Cricket Wireless became the first prepaid carrier to offer the iPhone yesterday, but it’s unlikely it’ll be the last. One source claims that both the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S will also be arriving on Boost Mobile later this year.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Verizon Wireless is launching an unlimited voice and data prepaid plan. The plan will compete directly against Sprint and T-Mobile’s prepaid options. AT&T already offers a prepaid plan for $50 called GoPhone.
Verizon’s new $50 plan will include unlimited talk, text and web usage. Starting this Thursday, the plan will be available to eligible Verizon Wireless customers. It looks like iPhone users have one more reason to switch to Verizon.