Virgin Mobile USA Gets iPhone: Why it is Important

By Gary Kim June 26, 2012
Something important is shaping up in the mobile device arena, Virgin Mobile USA announced it will offer the iPhone to its prepaid customers beginning Friday, June 29, 2012, becoming the second “prepaid” mobile services provider to have that privilege, as Leap Wireless will also sell the Apple iPhone.

Virgin Mobile USA will offer the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S with its "Beyond Talk" unlimited data and messaging plans as low as $30 per month on the Sprint Nationwide Network.

Here's why the move is important. Up to this point, the "prepaid" mobile service providers have been unable to sell the Apple iPhone, with some obvious implications for customer attraction and retention. Since Virgin and Leap Wireless now sell the iPhone, some of that disadvantage is removed. In other words, the “prepaid” carriers will now be able to better compete with the tier-one providers. 

To be sure, consumers at Virgin Mobile USA and MetroPCS will have to pay full retail for their devices, but as some will note, at $50 a month, a consumer sort of "breaks even" after six months of service, says Troy Brown, founder of one50one, a digital marketing firm. 

Virtually, all global mobile carriers would prefer to be in that situation, and we might now get a true test of consumer willingness to pay full retail for their coveted devices.The iPhone will be available without a contract and with no fees for activation or roaming. New and existing customers can purchase the iPhone at www.virginmobileusa.com, RadioShack, Best Buy and select local retailers.

As it turns out, the “prepaid” service providers might provide the best marketplace test of U.S. consumer willingness to pay full retail for their handsets, in exchange for service without a contract.


Edited by Brooke Neuman

Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Verizon, Oh Verizon, Where Are You Going?

By: Doug Mohney    2/23/2017

Last June, Verizon closed a $4.4 billion deal to buy AOL. Executives said the acquisition would enable the company to layer AOL's advertising strength…

Read More

AMD: The Time For Ryzen Has Arrived

By: Rob Enderle    2/23/2017

The Ryzen part is a powerful alternative to Intel's offering, which will result in several new, more powerful, and affordable systems for those that g…

Read More

Voice 2017 - Best of Times, Worst of Times

By: Doug Mohney    2/21/2017

Voice is in a unique position these days, judging from the conversations I've had over the past six weeks during CES and ITEXPO. Available quality is …

Read More

Needed: Better Location Tech for RideShare Services

By: Doug Mohney    2/21/2017

Uber, Lyft, and other ride services have pushed the bounds of location tech to the point of frustration for end-users, both drivers and customers alik…

Read More

Human Carrying Drones May Arrive in 2017

By: Rob Enderle    2/21/2017

There are a couple really big problems that will likely make human carrying drones more of a tourist attraction than a real solution for some time, bu…

Read More