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MacRumors
Jun 7, 2012, 08:19 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/07/virgin-mobile-usa-launching-iphone-on-june-29-with-plans-starting-at-30/)


In line with rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/05/sprint-to-launch-iphone-through-prepaid-brand-virgin-mobile-in-coming-weeks/) from earlier this week, Virgin Mobile USA today announced (http://newsroom.virginmobileusa.com/press-release/handsets/virgin-mobile-usa-offer-iphone-june-29) that it will begin offering the iPhone on June 29. Virgin Mobile USA is a prepaid brand operated by Sprint.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/06/virgin_mobile_iphone_coming_soon.jpg


Notably, Virgin Mobile will be offering service plans for as low as $30 per month with no commitment when customers sign up for automatic payments.Virgin Mobile's Beyond Talk unlimited data and messaging plans for iPhone start at $35 per month for access to Sprint's Nationwide Network, and customers can receive a $5 per-month plan discount when they register for automatic monthly payments with a credit card, debit card or PayPal account, making iPhone available for as low as $30 per month. Customers can also use their iPhone as a mobile hotspot through Virgin Mobile for an additional $15 per month.Unlike Cricket (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/05/31/iphone-coming-to-u-s-prepaid-carrier-cricket-on-june-22/), which announced last week that it will begin offering the iPhone on a prepaid basis on June 22, Virgin is not offering any subsidy on iPhone hardware, with the 8 GB iPhone 4 being priced at $549 and the 16 GB iPhone 4S coming in a $649.

Cricket is offering the iPhone for $150 less, but its service plan consists solely of a $55/month offering with unlimited talk, text, and data. With Virgin Mobile offering plans for as low as $30, low-use customers can make up that hardware price differential in six months of service.

All three of Virgin Mobile's plans include unlimited texting and data (throttled after 2.5 GB), with voice minutes being the differentiating factor. With the $5 discount for automatic payments, Virgin Mobile's plans are priced at $30 (300 minutes), $40 (1200 minutes), and $50 (unlimited minutes).

Virgin Mobile will offer the iPhone through its website and at RadioShack, Best Buy, and other select retailers.

Article Link: Virgin Mobile USA Launching iPhone on June 29 with Plans Starting at $30 (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/07/virgin-mobile-usa-launching-iphone-on-june-29-with-plans-starting-at-30/)



BBCWatcher
Jun 7, 2012, 08:22 AM
So will Virgin Mobile's iPhone be unlocked, at least on the GSM side?

actripxl
Jun 7, 2012, 08:25 AM
I just need to know how much the phone will cost, I recently switched from Virgin mobile since I wanted a new phone even though the service was just fine. If the price is $299 I'm sold, I like android and ICS but I'd rather have everything on Apple.

Moonjumper
Jun 7, 2012, 08:25 AM
Hopefully we will eventually get the iPhone on Virgin Mobile UK. As we have Virgin Media, we might get the £5 pm discount they offer on other phones.

WannaGoMac
Jun 7, 2012, 08:28 AM
I just need to know how much the phone will cost, I recently switched from Virgin mobile since I wanted a new phone even though the service was just fine. If the price is $299 I'm sold, I like android and ICS but I'd rather have everything on Apple.

Why? Over two years you save a huge amount of money on the $30/month plan (like $1400) in monthly fees compared to the ATT or Verizon carriers.

Z400Racer37
Jun 7, 2012, 08:28 AM
wow, i wish sprint had decent service around where i live....

so would anyone here pay 650 or 750 for an 16/32 GB iPhone 5 when it comes out in exchange for not having to pay 120 bucks a month on verizon sprint or att?

Eminemdrdre00
Jun 7, 2012, 08:28 AM
Awesome news! I wonder if Virgin Mobile will support Visual Voicemail?

imgonephishin
Jun 7, 2012, 08:29 AM
$30 for unlimited data (albeit throttled after 2.5GB) and 300 minutes talk time? This is incredible!

Any bets on how quickly they'll get the next iPhone? If they have it at or around launch, I'm signing up immediately. I suspect that part of the major carriers contracts stipulates that the prepaids won't get new phone releases for 6 months, or something.

macnchiefs
Jun 7, 2012, 08:29 AM
I just need to know how much the phone will cost, I recently switched from Virgin mobile since I wanted a new phone even though the service was just fine. If the price is $299 I'm sold, I like android and ICS but I'd rather have everything on Apple.

How could they possibly sell it for $299 and give you a max price plan of $50 and make any kind of money on it?

Besides, it says right in the post how much the phones will be.

Warbrain
Jun 7, 2012, 08:29 AM
While tempting for $30 a month, Sprint coverage in the Chicago area is pretty ******.

albanian
Jun 7, 2012, 08:30 AM
$30 for unlimited data (albeit throttled after 2.5GB) and 300 minutes talk time? This is incredible!

Any bets on how quickly they'll get the next iPhone? If they have it at or around launch, I'm signing up immediately. I suspect that part of the major carriers contracts stipulates that the prepaids won't get new phone releases for 6 months, or something.

This is what I really want to know. If they get the next iPhone, with the same plan rates, I'll be a happy camper.

Maddix
Jun 7, 2012, 08:32 AM
Doesn't Virgin Mobile use Sprints wireless network?

needfx
Jun 7, 2012, 08:32 AM
They could also make a unified app

Fly Virgin, Talk Virgin, Buy Virgin Records and so on and so forth

ristlin
Jun 7, 2012, 08:32 AM
Finally a competitor who brings something new to the table.

albanian
Jun 7, 2012, 08:33 AM
Doesn't Virgin Mobile use Sprints wireless network?

Indeed.

Rot'nApple
Jun 7, 2012, 08:37 AM
Can anyone attest to VM's service, both in customer service and call coverage, dropped calls, data signals and speaking of which, what is their speeds? 3G or will LTE iPhones is in the upcoming iPhone will that work or is this for only models.

Oh, with regards to curiosity, I'm looking for East Coast call coverage, specifically Virginia. Anyone have VM service here in VA? Thanks.
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imgonephishin
Jun 7, 2012, 08:38 AM
doesn't virgin mobile use sprints wireless network?


ftfa:
virgin mobile usa is a prepaid brand operated by sprint.

virgin mobile's beyond talk unlimited data and messaging plans for iphone start at $35 per month for access to sprint's nationwide network

zweigand
Jun 7, 2012, 08:40 AM
AT&T …we need to talk.

Codyak
Jun 7, 2012, 08:43 AM
Any idea if you have a Verizon iPhone, would work on VM(Sprint) since they are both CDMA?

Edit:
Also curious on Virginia coverage with VM.

macnchiefs
Jun 7, 2012, 08:45 AM
Can anyone attest to VM's service, both in customer service and call coverage, dropped calls, data signals and speaking of which, what is their speeds? 3G or will LTE iPhones is in the upcoming iPhone will that work or is this for only models.

Oh, with regards to curiosity, I'm looking for East Coast call coverage, specifically Virginia. Anyone have VM service here in VA? Thanks.


Found coverage information: http://bit.ly/K0uZGo

They use Sprint for everything, so Sprint's numbers from customer service to data speeds apply.

rufwork
Jun 7, 2012, 08:46 AM
Notably, Virgin Mobile will be offering service plans for as low as $30 per month with no commitment when customers sign up for automatic payments.

I can't quite figure that one out. I'm a Virgin Mobile customer with Auto-Pay, and I'm not seeing that discount. Nor is that graphic, which I caught this morning, anywhere else on the site.

I don't think it's an iPhone only discount, but perhaps it is? First I'd heard of it.

EDIT: Service, btw, has been excellent in the Southeast US.

Codyak
Jun 7, 2012, 08:47 AM
Found coverage information: http://bit.ly/K0uZGo

They use Sprint for everything, so Sprint's numbers from customer service to data speeds apply.

It would seem he was more interested in first hand accounts of their service rather than a simple coverage map. :rolleyes:

PracticalMac
Jun 7, 2012, 08:47 AM
damm,
No iPhone V on June 22. :(

Ugg
Jun 7, 2012, 08:49 AM
This is incredible! I've been waiting for years to have an iPhone on VM and now I'll get one at $30 a month!

kazmac
Jun 7, 2012, 08:52 AM
Found coverage information: http://bit.ly/K0uZGo

They use Sprint for everything, so Sprint's numbers from customer service to data speeds apply.

Sigh...no go for me.

This is a super deal, but I will never, ever deal with Sprint again after the awful 4 month long debacle in receiving my refund on an unused iPhone and no usage charges last year.

I hope Verizon and AT&T will follow suit

jclardy
Jun 7, 2012, 08:53 AM
Wow. Goodbye AT&T.

$45 for iPhone with data and tethering. Would cost me $96 for the same on AT&T.

I barely use my minute plan so that is no issue, and I already am limited to 1000 texts on AT&T so I actually get a better deal in that area.

It would be awesome if I could move my AT&T 4S over if I got it unlocked...would be worth the ETF IMO as I would be saving $50 a month (Well, $40 if I am considering my current plan w/o tethering.) So in the next 12 months I would save $480. My ETF should be $205, so I would make that up in less than 6 months.

Only issue is that Sprint allows roaming on verizon's network, I'm pretty sure Virgin only lets you use Sprint towers. But my area is pretty well covered anyways.

britboyj
Jun 7, 2012, 08:53 AM
So, here's the important question - Can I bring my own unlocked iPhone 4S to this plan or can I buy a factory unlocked "next iPhone" (it's not the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4S is you fools!) and bring it to them too?

k1121j
Jun 7, 2012, 09:00 AM
is this just the cost of the voice portion?

blue22
Jun 7, 2012, 09:00 AM
So will Virgin Mobile's iPhone be unlocked, at least on the GSM side?

The non-contract/pre-paid prices sounds really good actually (in terms of value for your money), but that's a good question regarding the GSM flexibility of the handset itself, as well as the reliability of the coverage of service too.

Remember, Sprint is a CDMA carrier I wouldn't be surprised if they did not provide a pre-paid iPhone model/service that you can use with any GSM carrier.

However, if you're paying for the phone outright (i.e. non-subsidy price) then I'd won't even bother going his route (Virgin USA) if the phone doesn't come unlocked from the very beginning, otherwise what's the point of paying full price for the handset?!

Codyak
Jun 7, 2012, 09:07 AM
is this just the cost of the voice portion?

"All three of Virgin Mobile's plans include unlimited texting and data (throttled after 2.5 GB), with voice minutes being the differentiating factor."

bearda
Jun 7, 2012, 09:09 AM
So, here's the important question - Can I bring my own unlocked iPhone 4S to this plan or can I buy a factory unlocked "next iPhone" (it's not the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4S is you fools!) and bring it to them too?

No. VM (like sprint) is CDMA, and there are no unlocked CDMA phones. None of the CDMA carriers seem to allow you to bring a phone from another network in (although some MVNOs let you bring in phones from their parent network, like Page Plus allows Verizon phones), and an unlocked GSM phone just isn't going to work.

slu
Jun 7, 2012, 09:10 AM
wow, i wish sprint had decent service around where i live....

so would anyone here pay 650 or 750 for an 16/32 GB iPhone 5 when it comes out in exchange for not having to pay 120 bucks a month on verizon sprint or att?

This is exactly what I am going to do. My wife and I will be switching to one of these prepaid carriers (probably Virgin) when our contracts end in Oct. Paying the same price per month for everything that I currently pay for data alone is a great deal. I'd rather pay full price for the phone.

lamar0607
Jun 7, 2012, 09:11 AM
My contract with ATT is up. On June 29th, can I go to Virgin and start using my current iPhone 4 with them? Or do I have to buy their unsubsidized phone to get this pricing?

Rot'nApple
Jun 7, 2012, 09:11 AM
Found coverage information: http://bit.ly/K0uZGo

They use Sprint for everything, so Sprint's numbers from customer service to data speeds apply.


Thanks, but like a profile on e-Harmony, you can't believe everything you see 'as advertised' until you experience the real thing. Which is why I was looking to see if anyone could share their first hand knowledge of their experience with VM or those with Sprint. Has Sprint improved on the complaints some had when they first offered the iPhone? Thanks again.
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Syk
Jun 7, 2012, 09:11 AM
$650 for the ip4s? I wonder what the new iphone will cost this year. If it's $50-100 more I'd be tempted to go that route if I'm going to put out that type of cash and just use StraightTalk if I was planning on going the prepaid route here in the states but like anything it depends on your coverage area

benson197
Jun 7, 2012, 09:13 AM
The non-contract/pre-paid prices sounds really good actually (in terms of value for your money), but that's a good question regarding the GSM flexibility of the handset itself, as well as the reliability of the coverage of service too.

Remember, Sprint is a CDMA carrier I wouldn't be surprised if they did not provide a pre-paid iPhone model/service that you can use with any GSM carrier.

However, if you're paying for the phone outright (i.e. non-subsidy price) then I'd won't even bother going his route (Virgin USA) if the phone doesn't come unlocked from the very beginning, otherwise what's the point of paying full price for the handset?!

I was wondering if VM would unlock the GSM portion as well, if only for international travel. I agree, I wouldn't be interested in paying full price for a locked phone.

I really am not looking to switch unless the iPhone 5 (New iPhone, or whatever) is available on Virgin as well. I will freely admit to wanting the latest and greatest when it comes to phones. So unless Virgin will carry it at launch, or nearly at launch (and I see no reason they couldn't since they use Sprint's network), I will be locking in for another contract at AT&T.

bearda
Jun 7, 2012, 09:13 AM
My contract with ATT is up. On June 29th, can I go to Virgin and start using my current iPhone 4 with them? Or do I have to buy their unsubsidized phone to get this pricing?

Not going to work. AT&T iPhones are GSM, Virgin is CDMA. Have to get a new phone.

zorinlynx
Jun 7, 2012, 09:16 AM
This could be a game changer. At $35 a month I'm wondering what the catch is.

I'm tired of dropping a C-note a month on cel phone service with AT&T; if their coverage is decent I will definitely be jumping ship come November when my contract expires.

EDIT: Hmm, if they don't offer a 64GB handset, this will be a no go. They only mention the 16GB iPhone 4S; no mention of the 32 or 64GB models being available. I hope they will be available, and they were just left out to avoid sticker shock.

Firesign3394
Jun 7, 2012, 09:18 AM
Not going to work. AT&T iPhones are GSM, Virgin is CDMA. Have to get a new phone.

Yea or check out Straight Talk, which is $45/ month for unlimited everything and you use your existing phone.

bushido
Jun 7, 2012, 09:19 AM
woah. looks like the iPhone is the only apple gadget thats actually cheaper in europe ;)

i paid 1€ for my 4S and pay 29€ per months for unlimited data and text. 29€x24=696€ so i basically get the 4S for 47€ or in other words i pay 649€ for the 4S and only 2€ a month for text and data ^^

Firesign3394
Jun 7, 2012, 09:20 AM
This could be a game changer. At $35 a month I'm wondering what the catch is.

I'm tired of dropping a C-note a month on cel phone service with AT&T; if their coverage is decent I will definitely be jumping ship come November when my contract expires.

I had virgin mobile for a few years and customer service is decent, speeds are as well. The only con of virgin mobile is the coverage. They work only off of sprints network, which is really large, but I'd sprint doesn't offer coverage in an area, your iPhone will not work there, it can't roam onto another carrier's network.

alent1234
Jun 7, 2012, 09:21 AM
This could be a game changer. At $35 a month I'm wondering what the catch is.

I'm tired of dropping a C-note a month on cel phone service with AT&T; if their coverage is decent I will definitely be jumping ship come November when my contract expires.


the catch is they are a sprint MVNO. there is NO ROAMING. if you aren't in range of a tower, no signal. you can't ride on verizon's network. and sprint's data speeds in the 300Kbps range on average

you get what you pay for

bearda
Jun 7, 2012, 09:22 AM
The non-contract/pre-paid prices sounds really good actually (in terms of value for your money), but that's a good question regarding the GSM flexibility of the handset itself, as well as the reliability of the coverage of service too.

Remember, Sprint is a CDMA carrier I wouldn't be surprised if they did not provide a pre-paid iPhone model/service that you can use with any GSM carrier.

However, if you're paying for the phone outright (i.e. non-subsidy price) then I'd won't even bother going his route (Virgin USA) if the phone doesn't come unlocked from the very beginning, otherwise what's the point of paying full price for the handset?!

I would be very surprised if VM offered a phone you could use with any GSM carrier. It's not really in their best intrests.

That last part is the exact same conclusion I came to last week. If I'm buying a full-price handset I might as well get one I can carry with me to another company, which means GSM. Straight Talk has unlimited voice/text/and data capped around 2G for $45 a month and will sell you a SIM you can use with your own decide. In the long run I think I'd rather go that route and have the option of switching to T-mobile. You can buy the phone off the shelf from apple, and pick up AppleCare if you're worried about insurance.

Buying an expensive phone for a CDMA prepaid that you can't take anywhere else just strikes me as kind of dumb. You've effectively locked yourself in to a long term relationship with a carrier so you can continue getting your moneys worth out of the phone, just with absolutely no guarantee from their end. At least if you go the GSM route the phone has residual value and you can just move to another carrier if it doesn't work out.

rgctx
Jun 7, 2012, 09:22 AM
For what you will pay at Virgin Moble for the iPhone you can just get two new ipads. :D


For everyone asking, NO Virgin Mobile will NOT let you bring your own phone, they run on CDMA not GSM, its locked to there network as with all phones. You may be able to use the phone with other carriers such as MetroPCS, they are one of the few who unlock/flash Virgin phones.

Also guys being that i have used virgin before, please be aware that there are many issues and outages with there Data Network (just look on there facebook, about the "unexplained" outages), there Data wont compare to what you have now with AT&T, etc. I know within a few weeks from launch we will be reading about the SLOW DATA, if that doesnt matter to you then please go and save you some $$$$.

Also the Virgin iPhone will most likely be less after a few months. When the Blackberry first launched (they were one of the few with a prepaid blackberry) they priced it at $399 ($50 Rebate), a few months later it was $249, then a few months later (about 10 months) it was down to $199.00.

Firesign3394
Jun 7, 2012, 09:22 AM
If people hesitate to pay $550 up front, they can do 18 months no interest financing at Best Buy. That way, it would just be about $30 per month to get the phone.

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 09:22 AM
I can't quite figure that one out. I'm a Virgin Mobile customer with Auto-Pay, and I'm not seeing that discount. Nor is that graphic, which I caught this morning, anywhere else on the site.

I don't think it's an iPhone only discount, but perhaps it is? First I'd heard of it.

EDIT: Service, btw, has been excellent in the Southeast US.

Yeah, I've never heard of that discount...that makes it an even better deal obviously than it already is.

EDIT: Oh geez, the iPhone is up on Virgin's site! And it explicitly mentions the $5 discount!

$30 is insane, and 300 minutes actually isn't a complete joke, but I think for me the 1200 minute plan sounds better. Even the $50 plan is a good deal...I suppose you can boost it up later.

Do wish this was on the Boost side though as that would be...well, basically $10 cheaper.

Dang...very cool. Hope they sell the 32GB one. 16GB is CRAZY tight on my iPad 2.

Oh, someone was asking about coverage-going to depend where you are, and it SEEMS like Sprint doesn't cover small areas well (though I don't know that AT&T does either)? But at least where I go in my normal life Sprint has MUCH better coverage than AT&T. I barely can get 1 or 2 bars on EDGE with AT&T upstairs, while Sprint works fine downstairs.

Eminemdrdre00
Jun 7, 2012, 09:26 AM
Yea or check out Straight Talk, which is $45/ month for unlimited everything and you use your existing phone.

But unfortunately you can't use MMS without jailbreaking.

rgctx
Jun 7, 2012, 09:29 AM
If people hesitate to pay $550 up front, they can do 18 months no interest financing at Best Buy. That way, it would just be about $30 per month to get the phone.

Im guessing 90% of people who would buy a prepaid i phone dont qualify for a contract iPhone, most likely they wouldn't qualify for financing.

Zaren
Jun 7, 2012, 09:29 AM
This could be a game changer. At $35 a month I'm wondering what the catch is.


The main catch is having to buy the phone outright and unsubsidized. That's going to keep me away from buying one on Day 1.

blue22
Jun 7, 2012, 09:31 AM
I was wondering if VM would unlock the GSM portion as well, if only for international travel. I agree, I wouldn't be interested in paying full price for a locked phone.

Doubtful. :(


I would be very surprised if VM offered a phone you could use with any GSM carrier. It's not really in their best intrests.

...

Buying an expensive phone for a CDMA prepaid that you can't take anywhere else just strikes me as kind of dumb. You've effectively locked yourself in to a long term relationship with a carrier so you can continue getting your moneys worth out of the phone, just with absolutely no guarantee from their end. At least if you go the GSM route the phone has residual value and you can just move to another carrier if it doesn't work out.

Exactly. :cool:

on a side note: if T-Mobile ever steps up their game and actually offers the iPhone then that's where the value & savings will really be at via their pre-paid non-contract plans. Until then, very limited options for USA based iPhone GSM users.

tigres
Jun 7, 2012, 09:31 AM
AT&T …we need to talk.

Many will, with their wallets-

This is incredible! I've been waiting for years to have an iPhone on VM and now I'll get one at $30 a month!

Free at last comes to mind

the catch is they are a sprint MVNO. there is NO ROAMING. if you aren't in range of a tower, no signal. you can't ride on verizon's network. and sprint's data speeds in the 300Kbps range on average

you get what you pay for

That may be, but for $30/ month, it is a very competitive (small) price to pay I dare say.

Hat's off to Virgin, and . I see a hidden agenda in all of this.

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 09:31 AM
For what you will pay at Virgin Moble for the iPhone you can just get two new ipads. :D

Huh? $650 for a 16GB iPhone 5 versus $630 for a 16GB iPad 3 with cell/GPS.

ftaok
Jun 7, 2012, 09:31 AM
OK. I admit that I've never used these pre-paid plans ... nor have I really ever looked into them. VM's plan sounds intriguing ... which leads to a few questions.

1. The $30 sounds good right now, but without a contract, what's the likelihood that $30 turns into $40 after a few months? Is VM free to increase the price whenever they feel like it? Then I'd be stuck with a phone that I paid full price for ... which would suck.

2. Are there any limitations on a pre-paid plan? I saw the part about not being allowed to roam off of Sprint's network. I'm assuming that if you were on a Sprint post-paid plan, you'd be able to roam on VZ's network when needed.

Thanks. I'm really hoping that this type of plan becomes more popular. We should really have a model where if you pay full price for the phone, the monthly rate is lower. Yeah, it's probably bad for the carriers and the OEMs, but it's better for the consumers.

nickn
Jun 7, 2012, 09:35 AM
Im guessing 90% of people who would buy a prepaid i phone dont qualify for a contract iPhone, most likely they wouldn't qualify for financing.

Why is there this notion going around that you have to be poor to be on pre-paid? I could afford any carrier, but I have VM, as they not only are the cheapest, but auctally provide more. Why would anyone want to waste money on post paid? From what I have seen, in many cases, people would still save over AT&T or Verizon over 2 years, even if they outright bought this for $650.

pmbooks
Jun 7, 2012, 09:37 AM
Anybody know if it'll be possible to mosey on over to Sprint with your own iPhone and slip into the $30 plan (without having to buy one through them)? Also, mine's a 3S w/ATT (long out of contract period); do those two companies work the same network?

EDIT: found the answer (no)

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 09:40 AM
1. The $30 sounds good right now, but without a contract, what's the likelihood that $30 turns into $40 after a few months? Is VM free to increase the price whenever they feel like it? Then I'd be stuck with a phone that I paid full price for ... which would suck.

Indeed, and technically it's a risk, but they've had these plans for quite a while, and I think they're actually better than their last plans. I think it's safe to say that at least they're not going to double the price or something during the coming two year period.

Thanks. I'm really hoping that this type of plan becomes more popular. We should really have a model where if you pay full price for the phone, the monthly rate is lower. Yeah, it's probably bad for the carriers and the OEMs, but it's better for the consumers.

Yeah, I really hate how we do it in the U.S. I wish everything used the same technology, you bought the phone, and could move around to whatever carrier offered you the best price and/or reception.

Why is there this notion going around that you have to be poor to be on pre-paid? I could afford any carrier, but I have VM, as they not only are the cheapest, but auctally provide more. Why would anyone want to waste money on post paid? From what I have seen, in many cases, people would still save over AT&T or Verizon over 2 years, even if they outright bought this for $650.

Yeah, I've long been annoyed by that. In the first place, there's nothing wrong with someone just because they don't have a bunch of money, but in the second-yeah...wanting to save money doesn't mean you're poor.

cvaldes
Jun 7, 2012, 09:40 AM
wow, i wish sprint had decent service around where i live....

so would anyone here pay 650 or 750 for an 16/32 GB iPhone 5 when it comes out in exchange for not having to pay 120 bucks a month on verizon sprint or att?
Why would anyone do that? Because some people can actually do basic arithmetic (as in elementary school).

Here we go again.

AT&T and Verizon: $199 subsidized iPhone 4S, $36 activation fee, $120 per month ($70 unlimited talk, $20 unlimited text, $30 cellular data 3GB with AT&T at HSPA+ speed, 2GB with Verizon at EV-DO speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $3115

Virgin Mobile: $649 retail iPhone 4S, $50 per month (unlimited talk/text/cellular data 2.5GB at EV-DO speed, throttled after 2.5GB). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1849

Cricket Wireless: $499 partially subsidized iPhone 4S, $55 per month (unlimited talk/text, cellular data 2.3GB soft cap at EV-DO speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1819

Straight Talk: $649 retail iPhone 4S, $15 SIM (one-time charge), $45 per month (unlimited talk/text, cellular data 2GB soft cap at HSPA+ speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1744

Monthly cost of ownership over two-year period:
AT&T/Verizon: $129.79
Virgin Mobile: $77.04
Cricket Wireless: $75.79
Straight Talk: $72.67

Straight Talk service is bare bones, but they are using AT&T's cellular towers. They don't tell you who you called, who sent you texts, how much data you've used, and you can't block numbers. But if you want HSPA+ speeds, they are a cheap dumb pipe.

And to the guys who say, "most people get corporate discounts of 10-25% from the big carriers", well, you still can't do math, can you? Even if you slash 25% off AT&T/Verizon's unlimited rate, that's still $97.34 per month.

If you opt for Straight Talk over a comparable plan from AT&T or Verizon, your break-even point is month six. If you were on AT&T or Verizon and wanted to walk away from the carrier at that point, you'd have to shell out an additional $260 or so in early termination costs.

People who can't do math are throwing hundreds of dollars away each year to the big carriers. AT&T stock dividend yields 8%. Thanks for putting money into my pocket, guys! You are partially paying for my Straight Talk cellular service!

Worse, if you have a postpaid plan, you are almost certainly paying a bunch of taxes that are added to the rates quoted by the carrier. The prepaid Straight Talk plan has a few mandated FCC charges, but no local sales tax. So someone using a postpaid AT&T/Verizon plan as quoted above is likely paying an additional $8-10 more in taxes than their next door neighbor on Straight Talk.

I can't do pricing analyses for every household's situation, but clearly, if you care about your money, you might spend a few minutes doing your own analysis to see if you can save hundreds a year.

I will point out that in most countries, people buy handsets at full retail prices and pay much less for monthly service (which is not locked to a long-term contract). Only the United States and a handful of other countries have popular subsidized/long-term contract cellular sales model. The rest of the world is smarter than that.

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 09:46 AM
Anybody know if it'll be possible to mosey on over to Sprint with your own iPhone and slip into the $30 plan (without having to buy one through them)?

Maybe. I'd check on howardforums.com. OF course they probably won't REALLY know until a few months after Virgin gets this, but it seems like at least unofficially there have been some people getting Sprint phones on Sprint's prepaid brands at some points, so...maybe. But if they don't want that, they'll probably be vigilant about making sure that doesn't happen.

Also, mine's a 3S w/ATT (long out of contract period); do those two companies work the same network?

No, AT&T uses UMTS and GSM, Sprint uses Qualcom's version of CDMA (like Verizon and US Cellular). They're all migrating eventually to LTE, but even then I don't know that you'll be able to switch phones between them.

Why would anyone do that? Because some people can actually do basic arithmetic (as in elementary school).

...

People who can't do math are throwing hundreds of dollars away each year to the big carriers. AT&T stock dividend yields 8%. Thanks for putting money into my pocket, guys! You are partially paying for my Straight Talk cellular service!

Heehee, thanks for doing the math!

zorinlynx
Jun 7, 2012, 09:46 AM
the catch is they are a sprint MVNO. there is NO ROAMING. if you aren't in range of a tower, no signal. you can't ride on verizon's network. and sprint's data speeds in the 300Kbps range on average

you get what you pay for

I was on Sprint from 2005 til late 2010 and I could count on one hand the number of times I've roamed on Verizon, and that was in remote areas where even the Verizon signal was too weak to really be usable.

So yeah, not a big deal. Sprint's coverage is actually better than T-Mobile in my experience.

Syk
Jun 7, 2012, 09:47 AM
I would be very surprised if VM offered a phone you could use with any GSM carrier. It's not really in their best intrests.

That last part is the exact same conclusion I came to last week. If I'm buying a full-price handset I might as well get one I can carry with me to another company, which means GSM. Straight Talk has unlimited voice/text/and data capped around 2G for $45 a month and will sell you a SIM you can use with your own decide. In the long run I think I'd rather go that route and have the option of switching to T-mobile. You can buy the phone off the shelf from apple, and pick up AppleCare if you're worried about insurance.

Buying an expensive phone for a CDMA prepaid that you can't take anywhere else just strikes me as kind of dumb. You've effectively locked yourself in to a long term relationship with a carrier so you can continue getting your moneys worth out of the phone, just with absolutely no guarantee from their end. At least if you go the GSM route the phone has residual value and you can just move to another carrier if it doesn't work out.

That's kind of what I was getting at. If I'm going to spend that much. I may as well buy the new one and go StraightTalk. Atleast I'd have a few options and also should have good resell value if I decided to do so.

zorinlynx
Jun 7, 2012, 09:48 AM
Since the phone will be full price with Virgin, will the GSM side be completely unlocked?

It'd be nice to have an out and be able to return to AT&T if the coverage sucks or the data is too slow.

bry223
Jun 7, 2012, 09:49 AM
Keep in mind if you pay extra for the hotspot feature your non-throttled data goes from 2.5gb to 3.5gb before throttling, so you get more bang for your buck.

aziatiklover
Jun 7, 2012, 09:49 AM
Paying full price retail the GSM part better be unlocked, otherwise not worth it!

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 09:50 AM
Paying full price retail the GSM part better be unlocked, otherwise not worth it!

:confused:

It's still VERY worth it compared to Verizon or AT&T's prices.

ftaok
Jun 7, 2012, 09:51 AM
Straight Talk service is bare bones, but they are using AT&T's cellular towers. They don't tell you who you called, who sent you texts, how much data you've used, and you can't block numbers. But if you want HSPA+ speeds, they are a cheap dumb pipe.

great post, btw.

What do you mean in the above quote? How can they not tell you who's calling and who's sending you texts? They don't have CallerID?

2bikes
Jun 7, 2012, 09:51 AM
I wonder if the next iPhone (see how I didnt say iPhone 5 not piss some of you guys off :) ) will also have a prepaid option when launched. And does this June 29th date have anything to with the next iPhone.

nickn
Jun 7, 2012, 09:52 AM
While tempting for $30 a month, Sprint coverage in the Chicago area is pretty ******.
Where are you located? I live in the suburbs, and frequently travel to the west side of the city, and have never had any problems.

Can anyone attest to VM's service, both in customer service and call coverage, dropped calls, data signals and speaking of which, what is their speeds? 3G or will LTE iPhones is in the upcoming iPhone will that work or is this for only models.
/
Overall, I am very happy with Virgin Mobile. I have never had any major service problems, and the cost has been great. I can really only remember a few dropped calls, and they were when I was out in rural farm towns. As for the 3G (CDMA Rev A) speeds, that is perhaps the only con of VM. I would say on average I get about 750kbps down, and 600kbps up. Sometimes that goes up to around 1.25mbps, though that is somewhat rare. For what I do though, it is fine, and the speeds should go up, as Sprint and Virgin Mobile are pushing people over to LTE and WiMax, freeing up 3G resources.


So, here's the important question - Can I bring my own unlocked iPhone 4S to this plan or can I buy a factory unlocked "next iPhone" (it's not the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4S is you fools!) and bring it to them too?
No, you cant. Forget it.

This could be a game changer. At $35 a month I'm wondering what the catch is.

There is no catch. Really, none. The only cons are perhaps slower data speeds in your area, and the lack of being able to roam. I have extensively driven through Wisconsin and Illinois, and on highways in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia, and never had any major reception problems with VM though. Honestly the Sprint network alone is big enough that you really don't even need to roam.


the catch is they are a sprint MVNO. there is NO ROAMING. if you aren't in range of a tower, no signal. you can't ride on verizon's network. and sprint's data speeds in the 300Kbps range on average


Over here in Chicago, we get around 750kbps down, and 600kbps up on average. I guess it really depends on where you live. Also, read above about roaming. Really you don't need it.


Anybody know if it'll be possible to mosey on over to Sprint with your own iPhone and slip into the $30 plan (without having to buy one through them)? Also, mine's a 3S w/ATT (long out of contract period); do those two companies work the same network?

You can't bring anything over to VM. They have never allowed it before, and they wont now. In addition, the 3GS is GSM only, so even if they did allow it, it wouldn't work.


1. The $30 sounds good right now, but without a contract, what's the likelihood that $30 turns into $40 after a few months? Is VM free to increase the price whenever they feel like it? Then I'd be stuck with a phone that I paid full price for ... which would suck.


VM used to charge $25 a month for their entry service, before they raised it to $35 last year. Anyone still on the $25 plan though has been grandfathered in, so I wouldn't worry to much. They seem to take care of their customers, which is very rare these days for a telco.

foodog
Jun 7, 2012, 10:04 AM
I just need to know how much the phone will cost, I recently switched from Virgin mobile since I wanted a new phone even though the service was just fine. If the price is $299 I'm sold, I like android and ICS but I'd rather have everything on Apple.

Read the article. Of course it won't be 299.... full retail price

----------

:confused:

It's still VERY worth it compared to Verizon or AT&T's prices.

Most people never consider the total cost of ownership.... part of why the average American is a slave to credit card companies and only negiotiate buying a car by what they can afford to pay per month.

----------

Only the United States and a handful of other countries have popular subsidized/long-term contract cellular sales model. The rest of the world is smarter than that.

Yes they are.

trife
Jun 7, 2012, 10:04 AM
Im guessing 90% of people who would buy a prepaid i phone dont qualify for a contract iPhone, most likely they wouldn't qualify for financing.

Sorry, but in 2012 going prepaid doesn't equate to bad credit like it used to. I think it equates more to wanting to pay less and not wanting to be roped into a 2-yr contract where a carrier has you by the balls.

There is no prestige in being tied into a contract where you're getting bent over by your service provider. Sadly, it is the people with your frame of mind that allow the major mobile companies to do just that.

Code.Red
Jun 7, 2012, 10:05 AM
1. The $30 sounds good right now, but without a contract, what's the likelihood that $30 turns into $40 after a few months? Is VM free to increase the price whenever they feel like it? Then I'd be stuck with a phone that I paid full price for ... which would suck.Technically, yes. Historically, VM has NEVER done this. They have changed their plan structure many times (especially when they only had feature phones), but they let you be grandfathered into whatever plan you had, even if you switched phones. If you wanted to change plans, then you could only choose from the plans available then, but they never forced you to.

Recently, they changed the prices from $25/40/55 for the three Beyond Talk plans to what they are now, $35/45/55. If you were on the old Beyond Talk plans they let you stay on them, but they are now forcing any customer switching to phones released after the Evo V (and including it) to switch to the new prices.

bearda
Jun 7, 2012, 10:06 AM
VM used to charge $25 a month for their entry service, before they raised it to $35 last year. Anyone still on the $25 plan though has been grandfathered in, so I wouldn't worry to much. They seem to take care of their customers, which is very rare these days for a telco.

A lot of prepaids do seem to try to a little harder to please, in my experience. You don't have a contract and there is no ETF, so there isn't a whole lot stopping a prepaid customer from going to somebody else. Cingular and Verizon only seemed to care about my wife's opinion when her contract was up for renewal.

Pretty much every major carriers' relationship with the contract customer are almost completely one-sided. It's not like you're giving up a lot of rights buy not signing a cell phone contract. Most of the time the carrier is.

Unspeaked
Jun 7, 2012, 10:06 AM
Where are you located? I live in the suburbs, and frequently travel to the west side of the city, and have never had any problems.

I was in Chicago recently with my friend who's on Virgin and I could not believe how useless his phone was. After the second day, he literally shut it off since it was only getting a signal about 10% of the time and the only calls/texts that were going through were people complaining about how they couldn't reach him. It was some Android something or other, if that makes a difference, but the same phone works great all over CA and OR. And we were mostly in the South side, but did venture as far north as Wrigley.

Meanwhile, my T-Mobile phone was usually full bars, and never less than 2.

But I remember how shocked I was because I have never seen a phone behave so badly, especially in a metro area, and he was cursing it out the whole time.

chrmjenkins
Jun 7, 2012, 10:07 AM
Why would anyone do that? Because some people can actually do basic arithmetic (as in elementary school).

Here we go again.

Patronize a little harder.

People who can't do math are throwing hundreds of dollars away each year to the big carriers. AT&T stock dividend yields 8%. Thanks for putting money into my pocket, guys! You are partially paying for my Straight Talk cellular service!

It's not just people who can't do math. Some people still want a physical location to visit for various reasons. They also offer amenities like micro-cells, for instance.

Worse, if you have a postpaid plan, you are almost certainly paying a bunch of taxes that are added to the rates quoted by the carrier. The prepaid Straight Talk plan has a few mandated FCC charges, but no local sales tax. So someone using a postpaid AT&T/Verizon plan as quoted above is likely paying an additional $8-10 more in taxes than their next door neighbor on Straight Talk.

So it's subject to Use Tax, which you are technically in violation of state law if you don't pay.

I will point out that in most countries, people buy handsets at full retail prices and pay much less for monthly service (which is not locked to a long-term contract). Only the United States and a handful of other countries have popular subsidized/long-term contract cellular sales model. The rest of the world is smarter than that.

And most countries don't have the geography of the US to cover with wide swaths of uninhabited areas and a larger geographic area to cover. That doesn't justify their much higher costs, but you can't compare it to a small European country with a tight geographic area, higher population density and 3+ other GSM carriers as competition.

It may be cheaper to go pre-paid, but that doesn't mean you should treat people who don't like idiots.

CaneCollegeboy
Jun 7, 2012, 10:11 AM
Seems great but for for the money i think getting a used att iphone and straight talk is the way to go. That way you dont play the full price for an iphone and still reap the rewards of just playing 45 dollars a month. Remember its going to be easier to find people selling Att iphones than Sprint iphones just because of the numbers

aziatiklover
Jun 7, 2012, 10:12 AM
:confused:

It's still VERY worth it compared to Verizon or AT&T's prices.

To you yes maybe! Not to me! I get to switch brand new iphone every year! You know how? Because I can still always sale my factory unlocked iPhone for about 450-500.

Then with that money I add a bit more to get a factory unlocked at retail price which will always have a better value!

So to me I ain't gonna paid retail just to have a $25-30 plan a month aka save me money in the states then when I travel (which I always do) I can't use it! :rolleyes:

havok24
Jun 7, 2012, 10:18 AM
So I have a sprint 4S currently. will i be able to activate that on the VM plan thats coming out? Theres currently no phone number attached to this phone

foodog
Jun 7, 2012, 10:22 AM
I can't do pricing analyses for every household's situation, but clearly, if you care about your money, you might spend a few minutes doing your own analysis to see if you can save hundreds a year.



I am going to buy my way out of a contract with Verizon for ~ 350.00 and pay for a *new* phone and still come out ahead of the ~ 130.00 a month I pay to Verizon a month now. I can sell my 4s for a couple hundred and knock a chunk off the cost of a VM 4s.

I break even pretty fast, paying 50 a month (between 1/2 and 2/3 less per month)

jclardy
Jun 7, 2012, 10:22 AM
the catch is they are a sprint MVNO. there is NO ROAMING. if you aren't in range of a tower, no signal. you can't ride on verizon's network. and sprint's data speeds in the 300Kbps range on average

you get what you pay for

This is true, but for me Sprint has coverage in my entire city, and parts outside. So essentially I am paying double per month in order to have coverage those times when I am in the backwoods of my state, which is pretty much never.

If it was $10-20 cheaper, then who cares, but this is $40 cheaper. Essentially 50% less. I pay double on AT&T for fewer texts, less data, and a few extra minutes. The only thing I will miss is the higher data speeds, but I can live with waiting an extra second for my tweets to refresh.

LordJohnWhorfin
Jun 7, 2012, 10:27 AM
The price is not that great considering how lousy Sprint's network is. In the best conditions data speed is about a third of what you get on an iPhone 4 (not 4s) on AT&T. The only thing that made Sprint bearable to me a few years back (in those pre-iPhone days) was the SERO plan: $30/month for 500 minutes and unlimited texting and data. They're now charging twice as much for a creaky EVDO RevA service that hasn't improved in 5 years. Fail.

SmartTalk is great, but their "unlimited data" policy is unclear. Some forum posters claim that you'll get banned if you use more than 2GB/month. If they had a more official position I would already have switched!

supercooled
Jun 7, 2012, 10:32 AM
Canada?

actripxl
Jun 7, 2012, 10:32 AM
Why? Over two years you save a huge amount of money on the $30/month plan (like $1400) in monthly fees compared to the ATT or Verizon carriers.

Which is why if you READ what I wrote I left Virgin to use a descent phone, if they sell the iPhone for $299 I'll go back to them on the $40 plan since 300 mins is too little.

Norkusa
Jun 7, 2012, 10:37 AM
Yeah, I was excited when I first heard this but after I realized that Virgin uses Sprints network, my excitement was crushed.

I know some people are happy with the 4S on Sprints network but for me it's absolutely terrible. Calls are okay but data speed is almost non-existent. I can't even use Siri most of the time because the connection always times out.

I currently have complaints against Sprint filed with the FCC and BBB and I'm trying to get out of my contract. Even if I end up having to pay the ETF fee, I figure it'll finally be worth it just to be finished with Sprint once and for all.

rikahlberg
Jun 7, 2012, 10:37 AM
Virgin Mobile's PR explicitly states that the unlimited text plan is "SMS texting." I'm assuming that means no MMS, so it looks like there's no way to send pictures or videos via text. Is that an accurate assumption?

MacU
Jun 7, 2012, 10:40 AM
For what you will pay at Virgin Moble for the iPhone you can just get two new ipads. :D


For everyone asking, NO Virgin Mobile will NOT let you bring your own phone, they run on CDMA not GSM, its locked to there network as with all phones. You may be able to use the phone with other carriers such as MetroPCS, they are one of the few who unlock/flash Virgin phones.

Also guys being that i have used virgin before, please be aware that there are many issues and outages with there Data Network (just look on there facebook, about the "unexplained" outages), there Data wont compare to what you have now with AT&T, etc. I know within a few weeks from launch we will be reading about the SLOW DATA, if that doesnt matter to you then please go and save you some $$$$.

Also the Virgin iPhone will most likely be less after a few months. When the Blackberry first launched (they were one of the few with a prepaid blackberry) they priced it at $399 ($50 Rebate), a few months later it was $249, then a few months later (about 10 months) it was down to $199.00.

Ummm this is very detailed. Do u work for AT&T? Spy!!

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 10:41 AM
Sorry, but in 2012 going prepaid doesn't equate to bad credit like it used to. I think it equates more to wanting to pay less and not wanting to be roped into a 2-yr contract where a carrier has you by the balls.

There is no prestige in being tied into a contract where you're getting bent over by your service provider. Sadly, it is the people with your frame of mind that allow the major mobile companies to do just that.

This made me laugh, just imagining someone strutting around all proud of being roped in to an expensive contract :lol:

nickn
Jun 7, 2012, 10:42 AM
I was in Chicago recently with my friend who's on Virgin and I could not believe how useless his phone was.
Meanwhile, my T-Mobile phone was usually full bars, and never less than 2.

I think that phone might have had a problem. I have never seen or heard anything like that before around the Chicago area.

The price is not that great considering how lousy Sprint's network is.
I'll admit the CDMA network is somewhat slow, but for the price I don't mind. Also, I know this site is for Apple people, and you all like the iPhone, but there are faster Android alternatives available on Virgin Mobile. You can get the HTC EVO V 4G which has WiMax service for the same $30 a month. Over here at least, the Clearwire WiMax network flies. This is a typical result, and frankly $30 a month for just the unlimited data with speeds like this is amazing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgSdWA38kIQ

actripxl
Jun 7, 2012, 10:44 AM
I was in Chicago recently with my friend who's on Virgin and I could not believe how useless his phone was. After the second day, he literally shut it off since it was only getting a signal about 10% of the time and the only calls/texts that were going through were people complaining about how they couldn't reach him. It was some Android something or other, if that makes a difference, but the same phone works great all over CA and OR. And we were mostly in the South side, but did venture as far north as Wrigley.

Meanwhile, my T-Mobile phone was usually full bars, and never less than 2.

But I remember how shocked I was because I have never seen a phone behave so badly, especially in a metro area, and he was cursing it out the whole time.

I live in Chicago and had Virgin for over two years with no problems what so ever. I only switched because I wanted a descent android phone (xperia neo v) and the lack of options on Virgin made me switch.

The service I'm getting with Straight Talk vs Virgin is equal in terms of quality, heck for calls Virgin is slightly better, oh and I live on the north west side.

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 10:45 AM
Which is why if you READ what I wrote I left Virgin to use a descent phone, if they sell the iPhone for $299 I'll go back to them on the $40 plan since 300 mins is too little.

What we're saying is if you're on like Verizon or AT&T, this is a good deal regardless of how much the phone costs.

So I have a sprint 4S currently. will i be able to activate that on the VM plan thats coming out? Theres currently no phone number attached to this phone

MAYBE. I wouldn't count on it, but in the past I think some people have managed to convince them to like activate Sprint phones on Boost and the like, so the odds probably aren't zero. I'd check Howard forums.

foodog
Jun 7, 2012, 10:45 AM
I wonder if the next iPhone (see how I didnt say iPhone 5 not piss some of you guys off :) ) will also have a prepaid option when launched. And does this June 29th date have anything to with the next iPhone.

It will lag behind the post-paid carriers.

segfaultdotorg
Jun 7, 2012, 10:46 AM
Any bets on how quickly they'll get the next iPhone? If they have it at or around launch, I'm signing up immediately.

Ditto. Don't know how good Sprint's coverage is in my area, though. My AT&T contract is up this month or next.

unlimitedx
Jun 7, 2012, 10:51 AM
If gsm side is unlocked.... I'm SOLD!!!

britboyj
Jun 7, 2012, 10:51 AM
No. VM (like sprint) is CDMA, and there are no unlocked CDMA phones. None of the CDMA carriers seem to allow you to bring a phone from another network in (although some MVNOs let you bring in phones from their parent network, like Page Plus allows Verizon phones), and an unlocked GSM phone just isn't going to work.

Well that sucks, considering the internals are [I think] identical.

That said, I can still totally use this against AT&T. Let's see how much they want to keep me as a customer...

RedCroissant
Jun 7, 2012, 10:56 AM
I don't know if anyone mentioned this or not and I didn't feel like reading the other posts. When I saw this article, I called Virgin Mobile and AT&T and AppleCare. They all said that I would not be able to use my AT&T iPhone 4S on Virgin Mobile's network and therefore would not be able to benefit from the lower pricing.

But, I decided to call other GSM carriers and T-Mobile offers pre-paid plans that are pretty awesome. AND if you're calling from home and are connected to a WiFi network, then those minutes aren't taken fro your plan at all. Also, if you pay online, then you don't owe any taxes or fees and the bill is exactly $30, $50, $60, or $70. Plus, you get unlimited* data(depending on the plan you choose, you get the regular speed connectivity for a pre-determined amount and then it gets throttled after that. And yes, T-Mobile also has visual voicemail. I just have to decide whether or not it's worth it to cancel my contract and switch.

They're also offering free sim activations when you sign up. I don't know how much longer this promotion will last, but they went ahead and sent me 2 SIM cards at no charge and I have 90 days to decide whether or not to use them and still receive the promotion.

aristobrat
Jun 7, 2012, 11:02 AM
AND if you're calling from home and are connected to a WiFi network, then those minutes aren't taken fro your plan at all.
That sounds like UMA technology. What you were told is true (using UMA to make phone calls doesn't deduct minutes from your plan), but the iPhone doesn't support UMA.

Also remember that in some markets, the frequencies that T-Mobile uses for its 3G data network aren't supported by the iPhone, which means your iPhone would run on the slower EDGE data network. I know T-Mobile's been shuffling their frequencies around to mitigate this, but if you use data lot of your iPhone, you might want to ask about your specific market before you switch.

Not that it matters, but you're still required to pay taxes, even if you pay your bill online. T-Mobile may give you a monthly discount to your bill (for paying online) that's the same amount as taxes, but rest assured that those taxing you are still getting their money. :)

aziatiklover
Jun 7, 2012, 11:07 AM
I don't know if anyone mentioned this or not and I didn't feel like reading the other posts. When I saw this article, I called Virgin Mobile and AT&T and AppleCare. They all said that I would not be able to use my AT&T iPhone 4S on Virgin Mobile's network and therefore would not be able to benefit from the lower pricing.

But, I decided to call other GSM carriers and T-Mobile offers pre-paid plans that are pretty awesome. AND if you're calling from home and are connected to a WiFi network, then those minutes aren't taken fro your plan at all. Also, if you pay online, then you don't owe any taxes or fees and the bill is exactly $30, $50, $60, or $70. Plus, you get unlimited* data(depending on the plan you choose, you get the regular speed connectivity for a pre-determined amount and then it gets throttled after that. And yes, T-Mobile also has visual voicemail. I just have to decide whether or not it's worth it to cancel my contract and switch.

They're also offering free sim activations when you sign up. I don't know how much longer this promotion will last, but they went ahead and sent me 2 SIM cards at no charge and I have 90 days to decide whether or not to use them and still receive the promotion.

Yea nice if you like EDGE on T-mobile! But they will eventually have 3G for iPhone users.

obiegrad
Jun 7, 2012, 11:08 AM
Would it work to buy the iPhone for ATT for say $199 (16GB 4S) and then cancel immediately and pay $325 ETF and then buy the straight talk SIM?

A little cheaper than buying outright from Apple.

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 11:08 AM
But, I decided to call other GSM carriers and T-Mobile offers pre-paid plans that are pretty awesome.

It is possible to use an unlocked iPhone on T-Mobile, but my understanding is that right now it'll only work on GSM, not UMTS. Besides that, stuff like visual voicemail won't work.

AND if you're calling from home and are connected to a WiFi network, then those minutes aren't taken fro your plan at all.

http://t-mobile-coverage.t-mobile.com/4g-wireless-broadband-service

http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-1680

That's pretty awesome, but it sounds like it doesn't work with all phones-so almost certainly wouldn't work with the iPhone-plus it DOES still take minutes from your plan. It's only unlimited if you already have an unlimited plan.

And yes, T-Mobile also has visual voicemail.

I'm almost certain it doesn't. Check with howard forums for more info, but I think you're left with it functioning like a normal cell phone. Which of course isn't a deal breaker in and of itself, but visual voicemail does seem like a neat feature.

Diode
Jun 7, 2012, 11:12 AM
People who can't do math are throwing hundreds of dollars away each year to the big carriers. AT&T stock dividend yields 8%. Thanks for putting money into my pocket, guys! You are partially paying for my Straight Talk cellular service!

Here's to hoping that AT&T's and Verizon's strangle hold on the US market is nearing it's end.

Prepaid's biggest hurdle was the lack of good phones available (and responsible data rates).

With ST, Cricket's, and Virgin's cheap rates - hopefully people will begin to wake up and realize how much they are overpaying.

cvaldes
Jun 7, 2012, 11:16 AM
Would it work to buy the iPhone for ATT for say $199 (16GB 4S) and then cancel immediately and pay $325 ETF and then buy the straight talk SIM?

A little cheaper than buying outright from Apple.
I believe you need to surrender the handset if you quit within a month or two. The only way to do this is to go a couple of months at the cheapest rate. The $325 ETF is pro-rated, they credit you for $10 for each month you've fulfilled your contract.

Here's the "buy from AT&T way": $199 subsidized handset, $36 activation fee, $120 service ($60 per month for 450 min. talk, no text, 300GB data) for two months, $305 ETF ($325 minus $20 for two months worth of service). That's $660. Plus the hassle, the contract, and the credit check.

Or you could buy the retail, factory-unlocked iPhone from Apple for $649.

What do you mean in the above quote? How can they not tell you who's calling and who's sending you texts? They don't have CallerID?
Straight Talk does not keep an online log of your calls or texts. And there's no bill either.

If you log into your account at StraightTalk.com there's pretty much nothing to see. The only thing the website is good for is managing how you pay: you can add refill cards or set up auto-pay with a credit card.

Here's to hoping that AT&T's and Verizon's strangle hold on the US market is nearing it's end.

Prepaid's biggest hurdle was the lack of good phones available (and responsible data rates).

With ST, Cricket's, and Virgin's cheap rates - hopefully people will begin to wake up and realize how much they are overpaying.
My biggest wish is that Virgin Mobile's entry will eventually prompt Straight Talk to offer a slightly cheaper plan with fewer voice minutes (I really don't talk on my iPhone that much).

It is possible to use an unlocked iPhone on T-Mobile, but my understanding is that right now it'll only work on GSM, not UMTS. Besides that, stuff like visual voicemail won't work.

...

I'm almost certain it doesn't. Check with howard forums for more info, but I think you're left with it functioning like a normal cell phone. Which of course isn't a deal breaker in and of itself, but visual voicemail does seem like a neat feature.
There's no visual voicemail with Straight Talk either. Straight Talk has their own voicemail servers. Not that I care since I'm a Google Voice user.

mytdave
Jun 7, 2012, 11:21 AM
If I didn't have a brand new iPhone 4s and a shiny new 2-year contract, I'd be all over this.

If the iPhone 5 (6?) has LTE and Sprint gets their speed and coverage improved, then I'll be ready to jump ship in about 2 years...

unlimitedx
Jun 7, 2012, 11:27 AM
I believe you need to surrender the handset if you quit within a month or two. The only way to do this is to go a couple of months at the cheapest rate. The $325 ETF is pro-rated, they credit you for $10 for each month you've fulfilled your contract.

Here's the "buy from AT&T way": $199 subsidized handset, $36 activation fee, $120 service ($60 per month for 450 min. talk, no text, 300GB data) for two months, $305 ETF ($325 minus $20 for two months worth of service). That's $660. Plus the hassle, the contract, and the credit check.

Or you could buy the retail, factory-unlocked iPhone from Apple for $649.


Straight Talk does not keep an online log of your calls or texts. And there's no bill either.

If you log into your account at StraightTalk.com there's pretty much nothing to see. The only thing the website is good for is managing how you pay: you can add refill cards or set up auto-pay with a credit card.


My biggest wish is that Virgin Mobile's entry will eventually prompt Straight Talk to offer a slightly cheaper plan with fewer voice minutes (I really don't talk on my iPhone that much).

I agree. I definitely want to see more lower mins, texts plans with 1gb+ data

foodog
Jun 7, 2012, 11:32 AM
Patronize a little harder.


So it's subject to Use Tax, which you are technically in violation of state law if you don't pay.



Maybe if you read the terms on VM site, like I just did... You would see tax is included in the price.

Xcelerate
Jun 7, 2012, 11:43 AM
Just did a speedtest on my Virgin Mobile LG Optimus V in Atlanta:

Down: 924 kbps
Up: 283 kbps

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 11:44 AM
Just did a speedtest on my Virgin Mobile LG Optimus V in Atlanta:

Down: 924 kbps
Up: 283 kbps

Sounds great to me! Heck, 5KB/s was fast enough for Android to stay synced up, let alone broadband speeds.

B. Hunter
Jun 7, 2012, 11:54 AM
Can anyone tell me if your unused minutes roll over each month on this new Virgin Mobile plan?

I don't own an iPhone yet. And would like to know if there are any hidden costs other than a monthly rate to pay.

I like the $30 plan for minutes and emails.

Any info is appreciated.

Thanks!

unlimitedx
Jun 7, 2012, 11:58 AM
Can anyone tell me if your unused minutes roll over each month on this new Virgin Mobile plan?

I don't own an iPhone yet. And would like to know if there are any hidden costs other than a monthly rate to pay.

I like the $30 plan for minutes and emails.

Any info is appreciated.

Thanks!

minutes don't roll over.. you start with 300 mins again every month

btcutter
Jun 7, 2012, 12:00 PM
the catch is they are a sprint MVNO. there is NO ROAMING. if you aren't in range of a tower, no signal. you can't ride on verizon's network. and sprint's data speeds in the 300Kbps range on average

you get what you pay for

Very true.

Don't expect ATT type download speed.
No roaming on other networks.
Can't use it in Canada on CDMA at all. No travel options.
The system does cash occasionally. I suspect when iPhone goes on sale the system may get overloaded

BUT for $30. This is a great deal! My wife is grandfathered in $25 plan per month and I love the deal.

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 12:05 PM
To add to that, I think right now AT&T is the only company with "rollover" minutes...but remember that they're not free, you're paying TONS more with AT&T. You can get an unlimited minute plan with Virgin for far less than the 450 minute plan from AT&T.

NoExpectations
Jun 7, 2012, 12:06 PM
VM uses the Sprint Network. Here is an official link to a Sprint Forum Website that has almost a million hits with Sprint users complaining about iPhone coverage/speed/service.

http://community.sprint.com/baw/thread/78766?start=0&tstart=0

You have been warned.

djvic
Jun 7, 2012, 12:08 PM
How come no one asks if your existing number could be ported to VM or other pre-paid carriers? For me this is a big deal.

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 12:10 PM
How come no one asks if your existing number could be ported to VM or other pre-paid carriers? For me this is a big deal.

It can be.

Enectic
Jun 7, 2012, 12:14 PM
This is great news! I'm on VM using an Optimus V on the grandfathered $25 plan. I've never noticed any outages. The signal quality is great and I've never had a dropped call. Unfortunately 3G seems to vary depending on your location with some people reporting some pretty bad speeds. I'm in Conway, AR though and have never had a problem with 3G and it stays consistently around 700 kbps - 1400 kbps DL. I just did a speed test and got 183 ping, 1272 kbps / 795 kbps. Sure these are not absolutely blazing speeds but at $25 (or even $30) it's a pretty good deal!

justinkaisse
Jun 7, 2012, 12:22 PM
Virgin Mobile's PR explicitly states that the unlimited text plan is "SMS texting." I'm assuming that means no MMS, so it looks like there's no way to send pictures or videos via text. Is that an accurate assumption?

I'm constantly sending pix in messaging; dunno about video.

Starting up/using camera/video is atrocious on my Optimus Slider Android phone (I have an iPod Touch just to do this; can get a dozen good pix in the time it takes the camera app to start on my Optimus), so I haven't tried video. It would be nice to combine the two as I'm often w/o the iPod and miss many photo ops of daughter.

Good stuff you guys w/ big brains wrote here; LOTSA great info. I've been happy w/ VM for a couple years. Aside from the camera, everything else I use is great/acceptable: SMS, Yelp, Dolphin Browser, Mail, a half dozen other apps I used frequently and a dozen or so that are more infrequent.

It would be nice to get better data speeds; contrast what happens at home when connected to wi-fi against what happens away and the gap is pretty big. How close to wi-fi speeds is Clear Talk?

I had an 3gs for a couple weeks; signal at my home was abysmal (north side Astoria, NY) and friends w/ iPhones in other parts of town and the city were constantly dropping calls; that was over two years ago. Hopefully its better now. Rarely dropped a call on VM.

Again, the only complaint was the data speeds. I travel between DC and Boston, and also to Buffalo and only occasionally the signal drops.

btcutter
Jun 7, 2012, 12:25 PM
This is great news! I'm on VM using an Optimus V on the grandfathered $25 plan. I've never noticed any outages. The signal quality is great and I've never had a dropped call. Unfortunately 3G seems to vary depending on your location with some people reporting some pretty bad speeds. I'm in Conway, AR though and have never had a problem with 3G and it stays consistently around 700 kbps - 1400 kbps DL. I just did a speed test and got 183 ping, 1272 kbps / 795 kbps. Sure these are not absolutely blazing speeds but at $25 (or even $30) it's a pretty good deal!

Anyone know if they will let you keep your grandfathered rate at $25? That would be pretty awesome.

----------

Portland OR has great Sprint coverage as VM.

aristobrat
Jun 7, 2012, 12:31 PM
Here's to hoping that AT&T's and Verizon's strangle hold on the US market is nearing it's end.

Prepaid's biggest hurdle was the lack of good phones available (and responsible data rates).

With ST, Cricket's, and Virgin's cheap rates - hopefully people will begin to wake up and realize how much they are overpaying.
AFAIK, all three pre-paid carriers that you mention (ST, Cricket, and Virgin) rely on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint's networks to provide their customers coverage.

It'll be interesting to me to see what happens to the pre-paid carriers when their contracts with the big carriers are up. You'd think that if the big carriers end up losing a ton of customers to the pre-paids, they're definitely going to up the rates that they charge the pre-paid carriers to use their network.

My guess is that until a pre-paid carrier builds out their own network to be as large as AT&T or Verzion's, there's going to be no real long-term freedom from the big carriers. (And as T-Mobile has clearly demonstrated, if you don't have a big customer base and your game plan is just to offer cheap plans, you won't earn enough revenue to be able to afford to build out decent nationwide network, plus be ready to deploy whatever the next new wireless technology is).

Eorlas
Jun 7, 2012, 12:33 PM
Image (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/07/virgin-mobile-usa-launching-iphone-on-june-29-with-plans-starting-at-30/)


In line with rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/05/sprint-to-launch-iphone-through-prepaid-brand-virgin-mobile-in-coming-weeks/) from earlier this week, Virgin Mobile USA today announced (http://newsroom.virginmobileusa.com/press-release/handsets/virgin-mobile-usa-offer-iphone-june-29) that it will begin offering the iPhone on June 29. Virgin Mobile USA is a prepaid brand operated by Sprint.

Image (http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/06/virgin_mobile_iphone_coming_soon.jpg)


Notably, Virgin Mobile will be offering service plans for as low as $30 per month with no commitment when customers sign up for automatic payments.Unlike Cricket (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/05/31/iphone-coming-to-u-s-prepaid-carrier-cricket-on-june-22/), which announced last week that it will begin offering the iPhone on a prepaid basis on June 22, Virgin is not offering any subsidy on iPhone hardware, with the 8 GB iPhone 4 being priced at $549 and the 16 GB iPhone 4S coming in a $649.

Cricket is offering the iPhone for $150 less, but its service plan consists solely of a $55/month offering with unlimited talk, text, and data. With Virgin Mobile offering plans for as low as $30, low-use customers can make up that hardware price differential in six months of service.

All three of Virgin Mobile's plans include unlimited texting and data (throttled after 2.5 GB), with voice minutes being the differentiating factor. With the $5 discount for automatic payments, Virgin Mobile's plans are priced at $30 (300 minutes), $40 (1200 minutes), and $50 (unlimited minutes).

Virgin Mobile will offer the iPhone through its website and at RadioShack, Best Buy, and other select retailers.

Article Link: Virgin Mobile USA Launching iPhone on June 29 with Plans Starting at $30 (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/07/virgin-mobile-usa-launching-iphone-on-june-29-with-plans-starting-at-30/)

That's it. I'm jumping ship from ATT this plan would save me over fifty dollars a month. Gonna wait for the new iphone and my contract to expire in a few months.

Enectic
Jun 7, 2012, 12:36 PM
Anyone know if they will let you keep your grandfathered rate at $25? That would be pretty awesome.

----------

Portland OR has great Sprint coverage as VM.

Unfortunately no. Any phone released after May 1st cannot be used with the $25 plan.

justinkaisse
Jun 7, 2012, 12:39 PM
How come no one asks if your existing number could be ported to VM or other pre-paid carriers? For me this is a big deal.

Pretty straight-forward and happened w/i an hour or so.

Just keep in mind to keep your old account active until you've moved your number.

There was a service to check if your # is portable; probably a simple web search will yield whether your's is. Seems VM told me that mine could be ported.

cvaldes
Jun 7, 2012, 12:45 PM
AFAIK, all three pre-paid carriers that you mention (ST, Cricket, and Virgin) rely on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint's networks to provide their customers coverage.
Not exactly.

Straight Talk is a discount brand of TracFone (which itself is a discount MVNO). TracFone is the American subsidiary of America Movil, the Mexican telecommunications giants. They buy wholesale access from AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile USA since they do not operate their own network (i.e., cellular towers).

Cricket Wireless is a brand of Leap Wireless. Leap Wireless actually has its cellular network (towers) in some places in the nation. They have a roaming agreement with Sprint for areas where they don't have cellular equipment.

Virgin Mobile is an entirely owned discount/prepaid subsidiary of Sprint.

----------

How come no one asks if your existing number could be ported to VM or other pre-paid carriers? For me this is a big deal.
You can check the individual carrier's FAQ.

I was able to port my old T-Mobile USA prepaid number to Straight Talk.

bearda
Jun 7, 2012, 01:07 PM
That's it. I'm jumping ship from ATT this plan would save me over fifty dollars a month. Gonna wait for the new iphone and my contract to expire in a few months.

Don't bet on the new iPhone being available direct on any of the prepaids all that soon. It doesn't seem like this is an accident that a bunch of prepaids are announcing the 4S being available soon near the end of the product cycle. I'd love to see it happen, but I'm skeptical that the prepaids are going to be on the same release cycle as Verizon and AT&T. It seems like a lot of effort to support the 4S if there's going to be a replacement in 4 months.

chrmjenkins
Jun 7, 2012, 01:10 PM
Maybe if you read the terms on VM site, like I just did... You would see tax is included in the price.

I was relying on his analysis since it was so thorough. My mistake.

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 01:10 PM
Don't bet on the new iPhone being available direct on any of the prepaids all that soon. It doesn't seem like this is an accident that a bunch of prepaids are announcing the 4S being available soon near the end of the product cycle. I'd love to see it happen, but I'm skeptical that the prepaids are going to be on the same release cycle as Verizon and AT&T. It seems like a lot of effort to support the 4S if there's going to be a replacement in 4 months.

Yeah, I think you're right. My guess is these will be if not a year behind, a ways behind, to give the more expensive brands some point to their higher prices.

My guess though is that the iPhone 6 will be less of an upgrade over the 5...at least that's what I'm hoping since I don't want to feel bad if it turns out it's actually another big jump LOL

EDIT: Come to think of it, another obvious clue with this stuff is that like Boost and Virgin (and most other cheaper services) only have low and mid range Android phones.

Like I THINK the best Android phones on Virgin/Boost are single core. Not jokes, and actually fairly recent, but clearly behind what's available on regular Sprint/Verizon/US Cellular/T-Mobile.

Of course, that could also be as simple as a price issue-the subsidies are either smaller, or non-existent in order to have cheaper plan prices (something I appreciate), but fewer people may be willing to pay that much for an unsubsidized phone.

The iPhone 5 will actually end up being the best prepaid phone available regardless of OS. I mean it's higher end hardware than any of the Android phones....I think.

gwmacosx
Jun 7, 2012, 01:25 PM
To the people complaining about coverage issues in Chicago, that is because Sprint is now doing their Network vision update to Chicago. Once complete, the coverage and data speeds will be far better than before.

More more info about Sprint's network Vision: http://s4gru.com/index.php?/forum/9-network-network-visionlte-deployment/ Tons of info as well as Sprint LTE maps. Really good site.

I have an iPhone 4S on Sprint and never need to roam on Verizon unless I am way out in the boonies. As in no people or towns for 20 miles around. I also get really good speed here in GA, averaging between 800k to as high as 2.1M. Network Vision will massively improve Sprint and Virgin Mobile's network. All that old Nextel 800Mhz spectrum that is good for penetrating walls and travels further will be repurposed for Sprint and Virgin CDMA use. They will also make it 1X advanced which is a big improvement.

If I wasn't already on a great plan and only paying $50 a month on Sprint for unlimited everything, this Virgin Mobile deal would be very attractive. And if you want to see actual user coverage experience, a good place to look is root metrics. It compiles voice, data, and coverage from actual users phones. http://www.rootmetrics.com/check-coverage/

jonnysods
Jun 7, 2012, 01:28 PM
Goodness, a plan like this would be great in Canada.

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 01:31 PM
To the people complaining about coverage issues in Chicago, that is because Sprint is now doing their Network vision update to Chicago. Once complete, the coverage and data speeds will be far better than before.

More more info about Sprint's network Vision: http://s4gru.com/index.php?/forum/9-network-network-visionlte-deployment/ Tons of info as well as Sprint LTE maps. Really good site.

I have an iPhone 4S on Sprint and never need to roam on Verizon unless I am way out in the boonies. As in no people or towns for 20 miles around. I also get really good speed here in GA, averaging between 800k to as high as 2.1M. Network Vision will massively improve Sprint and Virgin Mobile's network. All that old Nextel 800Mhz spectrum that is good for penetrating walls and travels further will be repurposed for Sprint and Virgin CDMA use. They will also make it 1X advanced which is a big improvement.

If I wasn't already on a great plan and only paying $50 a month on Sprint for unlimited everything, this Virgin Mobile deal would be very attractive. And if you want to see actual user coverage experience, a good place to look is root metrics. It compiles voice, data, and coverage from actual users phones. http://www.rootmetrics.com/check-coverage/

Whoa! How are you on $50/month? I'd sooner go Sprint if I could do that, but the cheapest I've seen is $70/month for 500 minutes.

Is this some old SERO type plan? Hang on to that!

And thanks for the info-so I take it they're finally taking down the Nextel network in pieces and using everything for Sprint? Makes sense...I hadn't thought about that, that that bandwidth could be used (and used more efficiently) by combining it with Sprint's other bandwidth.

gwmacosx
Jun 7, 2012, 01:36 PM
Whoa! How are you on $50/month? I'd sooner go Sprint if I could do that, but the cheapest I've seen is $70/month for 500 minutes.

Is this some old SERO type plan? Hang on to that!

And thanks for the info-so I take it they're finally taking down the Nextel network in pieces and using everything for Sprint? Makes sense...I hadn't thought about that, that that bandwidth could be used (and used more efficiently) by combining it with Sprint's other bandwidth.

Yep, SERO. Not really unlimited voice, only 500 minutes. But I do get unlimited calls to any mobile network and those 500 minutes are only used to call landlines M-F from 7AM to 7PM, so practically unlimited calling since I rarely use 200 of those minutes a month and well over 2,000 unlimited mobile.

Yes, the old 800Mhz IDEN spectrum will at first be used for CDMA 1x advanced for much better quality voice and EVDO data, then a little later in 2013 Sprint will also add LTE to 800 in addition to their PCS 1900 spectrum with LTE now. Once Network vision is complete in 2013, Sprint's network should be very comparable to Verizon and AT&T. A little bit of growing pains until then though, but very much worth it for the money I save.

kazmac
Jun 7, 2012, 01:56 PM
Why would anyone do that? Because some people can actually do basic arithmetic (as in elementary school).

Here we go again.

AT&T and Verizon: $199 subsidized iPhone 4S, $36 activation fee, $120 per month ($70 unlimited talk, $20 unlimited text, $30 cellular data 3GB with AT&T at HSPA+ speed, 2GB with Verizon at EV-DO speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $3115

Virgin Mobile: $649 retail iPhone 4S, $50 per month (unlimited talk/text/cellular data 2.5GB at EV-DO speed, throttled after 2.5GB). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1849

Cricket Wireless: $499 partially subsidized iPhone 4S, $55 per month (unlimited talk/text, cellular data 2.3GB soft cap at EV-DO speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1819

Straight Talk: $649 retail iPhone 4S, $15 SIM (one-time charge), $45 per month (unlimited talk/text, cellular data 2GB soft cap at HSPA+ speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1744

Monthly cost of ownership over two-year period:
AT&T/Verizon: $129.79
Virgin Mobile: $77.04
Cricket Wireless: $75.79
Straight Talk: $72.67

Straight Talk service is bare bones, but they are using AT&T's cellular towers. They don't tell you who you called, who sent you texts, how much data you've used, and you can't block numbers. But if you want HSPA+ speeds, they are a cheap dumb pipe.

And to the guys who say, "most people get corporate discounts of 10-25% from the big carriers", well, you still can't do math, can you? Even if you slash 25% off AT&T/Verizon's unlimited rate, that's still $97.34 per month.

If you opt for Straight Talk over a comparable plan from AT&T or Verizon, your break-even point is month six. If you were on AT&T or Verizon and wanted to walk away from the carrier at that point, you'd have to shell out an additional $260 or so in early termination costs.

People who can't do math are throwing hundreds of dollars away each year to the big carriers. AT&T stock dividend yields 8%. Thanks for putting money into my pocket, guys! You are partially paying for my Straight Talk cellular service!

Worse, if you have a postpaid plan, you are almost certainly paying a bunch of taxes that are added to the rates quoted by the carrier. The prepaid Straight Talk plan has a few mandated FCC charges, but no local sales tax. So someone using a postpaid AT&T/Verizon plan as quoted above is likely paying an additional $8-10 more in taxes than their next door neighbor on Straight Talk.

I can't do pricing analyses for every household's situation, but clearly, if you care about your money, you might spend a few minutes doing your own analysis to see if you can save hundreds a year.

I will point out that in most countries, people buy handsets at full retail prices and pay much less for monthly service (which is not locked to a long-term contract). Only the United States and a handful of other countries have popular subsidized/long-term contract cellular sales model. The rest of the world is smarter than that.

This was a very helpful post > Much appreciated :)

I'm not going to jump ship for Straight talk or Cricket just yet, but I am glad more pre-paid and cheaper options are slowly becoming available.

nburwell
Jun 7, 2012, 02:23 PM
This is actually pretty tempting. I don't use more than 300 minutes a month, so the $30 plan would be perfect for me. Plus I would be saving $45/month over what I'm currently paying with VZW. My only two concerns are the coverage map and if they're going to carry the 64GB iPhone. I did not see it mentioned in the initial thread.

Medic311
Jun 7, 2012, 02:23 PM
my neighbor's mother made $16059 last week. she is working on the computer and got a $509600 home. All she did was get blessed and follow the information shown on this site http://b23.ru/pn3v

come on dude, really? go somewhere else

Tiger8
Jun 7, 2012, 02:36 PM
I think I am switching to Virgin with the iPhone 5/6.

This is such a big BLOW to AT&T and Verizon, $30 iPhone plan? Insane!

gwmacosx
Jun 7, 2012, 02:42 PM
I think I am switching to Virgin with the iPhone 5/6.

This is such a big BLOW to AT&T and Verizon, $30 iPhone plan? Insane!

Virgin likely won't get the new 2012 iPhone until about June of next year. That is the price of pre-paid, new phones take a while to trickle down and they rarely if ever have the latest and greatest models. The 4S is only now about to be released so expect the next one to take about a year as well.

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 03:01 PM
Yep, SERO. Not really unlimited voice, only 500 minutes. But I do get unlimited calls to any mobile network and those 500 minutes are only used to call landlines M-F from 7AM to 7PM, so practically unlimited calling since I rarely use 200 of those minutes a month and well over 2,000 unlimited mobile.

Yes, the old 800Mhz IDEN spectrum will at first be used for CDMA 1x advanced for much better quality voice and EVDO data, then a little later in 2013 Sprint will also add LTE to 800 in addition to their PCS 1900 spectrum with LTE now. Once Network vision is complete in 2013, Sprint's network should be very comparable to Verizon and AT&T. A little bit of growing pains until then though, but very much worth it for the money I save.

OH wow wow wow. That's great/awesome news! Thanks so much! I hadn't really heard anything about what Sprint was doing since they were doing Wimax that didn't pan out. Glad to hear that they've got a really good sounding plan.

malman89
Jun 7, 2012, 03:05 PM
$30 for unlimited data (albeit throttled after 2.5GB) and 300 minutes talk time? This is incredible!

Any bets on how quickly they'll get the next iPhone? If they have it at or around launch, I'm signing up immediately. I suspect that part of the major carriers contracts stipulates that the prepaids won't get new phone releases for 6 months, or something.

Bet from launch.

While tempting for $30 a month, Sprint coverage in the Chicago area is pretty ******.

Personally, I found Sprint equal to or better than Verizon in Chicago. Lived in Chicago the last 5 years - Rogers Park and Lincoln Park and worked in the Loop. Had no issues. In fact, along the lake, Sprint/VM is much better. Most lake area (esp. RP area) are VZW dead zones.

Doesn't Virgin Mobile use Sprints wireless network?

Yeup.

I just might need to finally get an iPhone now to replace my LG Optimus V. VM is the best.

Diode
Jun 7, 2012, 03:09 PM
AFAIK, all three pre-paid carriers that you mention (ST, Cricket, and Virgin) rely on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint's networks to provide their customers coverage.

It'll be interesting to me to see what happens to the pre-paid carriers when their contracts with the big carriers are up. You'd think that if the big carriers end up losing a ton of customers to the pre-paids, they're definitely going to up the rates that they charge the pre-paid carriers to use their network.


I believe the FCC mandates that carriers have to give wholesale rates to MNVO's - which is how they exist in the first place. Unless they can show that their costs are rising (which would be hard to do as data prices fall), then prices shouldn't rise.

Carriers could come up with some clever way to circumvent this, but it's one of those risk vs. reward things.

I'm just hoping that this will force AT&T and Verizon to offer reasonable pre-paid rates. They're getting better, but still atrocious considering what you are giving up from switching from a contract.

Wolfpup
Jun 7, 2012, 03:18 PM
I believe the FCC mandates that carriers have to give wholesale rates to MNVO's - which is how they exist in the first place. Unless they can show that their costs are rising (which would be hard to do as data prices fall), then prices shouldn't rise.

Carriers could come up with some clever way to circumvent this, but it's one of those risk vs. reward things.

I'm just hoping that this will force AT&T and Verizon to offer reasonable pre-paid rates. They're getting better, but still atrocious considering what you are giving up from switching from a contract.

That's interesting, and makes sense.

I wonder though, I read recently that Cricket's contract with Sprint is through 2015, and that they have to pay them some minimum level regardless of whether they're using that.

Could that mean Sprint's giving them a BETTER deal than what's required?

Seems like AT&T and Sprint sure get used a lot by other carriers!

btcutter
Jun 7, 2012, 03:24 PM
So I have a sprint 4S currently. will i be able to activate that on the VM plan thats coming out? Theres currently no phone number attached to this phone

Nope. VM doesn't convert Sprint phones. You'll need a new phone.

Tiger8
Jun 7, 2012, 03:25 PM
Virgin likely won't get the new 2012 iPhone until about June of next year. That is the price of pre-paid, new phones take a while to trickle down and they rarely if ever have the latest and greatest models. The 4S is only now about to be released so expect the next one to take about a year as well.

Virgin Canada and UK seem to have gotten the iPhone at the same time, no? Why would Apple not want to launch it on all carriers at the same time? No exclusive agreement prevents them from doing so.

Not only do I expect that Virgin/Cricket/the rest will get it the same time, I think this will allow them to have 'three models' feature that only AT&T currently enjoys: 4 @ $399, 4s $550, new iPhone $650, or something

btcutter
Jun 7, 2012, 03:30 PM
Personally I believe the iPhone sold by VM will have unlocked GSM so you may switch to gsm carriers if you like. The reason is that Sprint is bleeding customers like crazy give how slow they are rolling out LTE. They are also committed to purchase certain number if iPhones ALREADY so they got to find a way to either sign new customers to Sprint or sell full price iPhone via VM.

I think this VM opportunity is fantastic for consumers!

Remember VM's $30 per month is just $30. There's no additional fees unlike AT&T or Verizon!

gwmacosx
Jun 7, 2012, 03:38 PM
Virgin Canada and UK seem to have gotten the iPhone at the same time, no? Why would Apple not want to launch it on all carriers at the same time? No exclusive agreement prevents them from doing so.

Not only do I expect that Virgin/Cricket/the rest will get it the same time, I think this will allow them to have 'three models' feature that only AT&T currently enjoys: 4 @ $399, 4s $550, new iPhone $650, or something

It just doesn't make sense that Virgin will start selling the 4 and 4S in a few weeks and then a few short months after that also start selling the next iPhone as well. Sprint would also want customers to sign up with them directly as post-paid to get the next iPhone since they make far more money off of those customers than Virgin Mobile customers. VM will probably not get the newest iPhone until it has been out around 9 months.

Don't forget that Virgin Canada and Virgin U.K. are very different from Virgin Mobile in the U.S. which is pre-paid and owned by Sprint.

gwmacosx
Jun 7, 2012, 03:56 PM
FAQ


Q&A: iPhone Coming to Virgin MobileBasic Product & Plan InfoQ: Which devices will be available on Virgin Mobile? How much do thedevices cost?
Here are the prices for Virgin Mobile’s iPhone products:
• iPhone 4S with 16GB will cost $649.99
• iPhone 4 with 8GB will cost $549.99With our unlimited data plans ranging from $35 - $55 per month, customers canrealize true cost savings in the long run. Customers who register a payment vehicle[credit/debit card or PayPal] and set it for automatic payment will receive a $5 permonth discount on the monthly plan

Q: What are the monthly price plans for Virgin Mobile’s iPhone devices?
iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 will work on Virgin’s Beyond Talk plans which includeunlimited data and messaging, without a contract.
Beyond Talk PlanAnytime MinutesMessaging & Data*
$35 / month300Unlimited$451200Unlimited$55Unlimited Unlimited*Beyond Talk Plans include 2.5GB/month of full-speed data per month.
However,
customers who register a payment vehicle [credit/debit card or PayPal]and set it for automatic payment will receive a $5 per month discount on themonthly plan, bringing the iPhone plan on Virgin Mobile available for as low as $30per month with unlimited data and messaging. That could mean a savings of morethan $1000 vs. a two-year contract plan, and a savings of more than $400 vs. theother prepaid carrier
Q: Is there a mobile hotspot option?
Yes, customers can add a Mobile Hotspot for an additional $15 per month. Itprovides 3.5GB/month of 3G service, supporting up to five Wi-Fi enabled devicessimultaneously (pricing excludes taxes and surcharges).
Q: Will 4G service be available on the iPhone or will it just be 3G?
iPhone 4S on Virgin Mobile will operate on Sprint’s Nationwide 3G Network whichreaches more than 276 million people for data services and more than 280 millionpeople for voice services. The network is widely recognized for its enduringdependability and very strong performance. When our 3G network dependability ispartnered with our unlimited data plans, we believe we are offering the winningiPhone combination to consumers


Q: Is the International SIM locked or unlocked for Virgin Mobile iPhone 4Scustomers?
iPhone sold by Virgin Mobile will be locked to their network and will not be able tobe used when located outside the US.
Q: Can I upgrade to an iPhone 4S from Virgin Mobile and keep my existingplan?
The iPhone 4/4S will only be available on Virgin Mobile’s current Beyond Talk planswhich start at $35/month. Any existing customer who upgrades to any smartphonereleased after May 27, 2012 will be put on the Beyond Talk plans regardless of what plan they may have been on an earlier device.
Q: Can I port my existing cellphone number to a new iPhone?
Of course, bring your Virgin Mobile phone number or existing number from anycarrier over.
Q: What are your international rates?
International rates on iPhone are the same as our Beyond Talk international rates,low international talk rates to over 200 countries
1
.
International Text rates are
$0.15 per international SMS message inbound/outbound. More information isavailable athttp://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phone-plans/beyond-talk-plans.jsp
Q: Will Virgin Mobile’s iPhone devices allow simultaneous voice and data?
Yes, Virgin Mobile’s iPhone devices will allow it over Wi-Fi.
Q: What kind of data speeds can be expected on Virgin Mobile’s iPhone?
All Beyond Talk plans include 2.5GB/month of full speed 3G data. After thatmilestone is marked, customers may experience reduced speeds.
Q: When and where will Virgin Mobile customers be able to buy iPhone 4Sand iPhone 4?
iPhone will become available atwww.virginmobileusa.com, Best Buy, Radio Shackand select local retailers on June 29, 2012.
Q: Will the iPhones on Virgin Mobile be available in Sprint stores? Or Applestores.
No
Q: Why would I spend over $500/600 for an iPhone that I can only use onVirgin Mobile?

Some customers may choose to purchase an iPhone without a contract in orderto pay less each month. Others may be unable to pass the necessary creditchecks for a contract plan. With Virgin Mobile USA’s Beyond Talk unlimited dataplans starting at $35/month, customers can realize real savings over time.

With the $5 per month discount, unlimited data and messaging plans starting
1

International calls are charged at the international per-minute rate for the country you're calling plus your standardairtime rate.



HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL – DO NOT DISTRIBUTE EXCEPT TO AERO
at $30 per month with this phone are an outrageous value.

Virgin Mobile USA was recently ranked “Highest Ranked Customer ServicePerformance among Non-Contract Wireless Providers” by J.D. Power andAssociates.
2

Q: Why is Leap’s iPhone cheaper?
We can’t address why one carrier’s devices or plans are more or less than ours.The handset may cost less upfront but Virgin Mobile’s Beyond Talk plans withunlimited data and messaging start at $35…and with our special $5/mon discountfor registering a payment method, that starts at $30/month…for unlimited* dataand messaging service on the iPhone on a nationwide network.*Beyond Talk Plans include 2.5GB/month of full-speed data per month.
Q: Is Virgin Mobile USA’s service available nationwide?
Yes, on the Nationwide Sprint 3G Network serving more than 276 million people fordata services and more than 280 million people for voice services.
Q: I know Virgin Mobile currently throttles its 3G phones and mobilebroadband devices. Will the iPhone service be throttled as well?

Virgin Mobile USA’s unlimited 3G data services include 2.5GB of full speed data.Once the 2.5GB of data is reached, your data speeds may be reduced to256kbps or below for the rest of that monthly cycle. During this time, you mayexperience slower page loads and file downloads, and lags in streaming media.Data speeds will return to normal as soon as your next plan month starts.

Beyond Talk plans have no cap or limit per se on how much you can consume inany given month before you get charged overage fees. Most Beyond Talkcustomers will not experience a change in the performance of their Virgin Mobileservice or notice any difference. If you use this service for typical email,internet surfing and downloading, your throughput speeds should not benoticeably impacted. For Beyond Talk subscribers who are using more than2.5GB during a monthly plan cycle, limiting throughput speeds for the remainderof their monthly plan cycle enables us to preserve overall network performanceand customer experience

Codyak
Jun 7, 2012, 04:01 PM
FAQ's

Dammit, they just glazed over the reasoning behind not being able to buy unlocked phones. :mad:

andyx3x
Jun 7, 2012, 04:34 PM
It will be interesting to see how Virgin does for the first few months offering the iPhone. I have my doubts as to how many people are going to be willing to pay those kind of prices up front for the phone. The numbers will tell.

Just look at Craigslist and Ebay and all the phones with bad ESN's that are for sale. Many people can barely afford the service plan each month. How are they going to be able to shell out over $500 for a new phone?

blackhand1001
Jun 7, 2012, 04:48 PM
But unfortunately you can't use MMS without jailbreaking.

The unlocked nexus is a better route to go for straight talk imo anyway. Its hspa+ 21 vs hspa+14 in the 4s. Its also several hundred dollars cheaper and all the features work without hacking on straight talk.

Michael Scrip
Jun 7, 2012, 04:48 PM
Old prepaid phones were simple... you loaded them up with minutes and you didn't have to pay again until those minutes ran out.

What exactly is "prepaid" about paying $30 every month?

Shouldn't the correct term for this be "contract free" ?

quickmac
Jun 7, 2012, 04:49 PM
T-Mobile needs to get on the ball!

andyx3x
Jun 7, 2012, 04:50 PM
At these prices, I would buy this phone on Virgin before I would buy the iPhone.

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phones/htc-evo-v-phone.jsp

blackhand1001
Jun 7, 2012, 05:04 PM
At these prices, I would buy this phone on Virgin before I would buy the iPhone.

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phones/htc-evo-v-phone.jsp

That's a crazy good deal. dual core 1.2 ghz, android 4.0 out of the box, and good build quality. Also has the cool 3d camera and a large 1750mah battery. Also supports wimax and not just sprints 3g which is pretty slow.

nburwell
Jun 7, 2012, 05:22 PM
Virgin Mobile's PR explicitly states that the unlimited text plan is "SMS texting." I'm assuming that means no MMS, so it looks like there's no way to send pictures or videos via text. Is that an accurate assumption?

Has anyone addressed this question? I would love to know the answer.

Tiger8
Jun 7, 2012, 05:44 PM
It just doesn't make sense that Virgin will start selling the 4 and 4S in a few weeks and then a few short months after that also start selling the next iPhone as well. Sprint would also want customers to sign up with them directly as post-paid to get the next iPhone since they make far more money off of those customers than Virgin Mobile customers. VM will probably not get the newest iPhone until it has been out around 9 months.

Don't forget that Virgin Canada and Virgin U.K. are very different from Virgin Mobile in the U.S. which is pre-paid and owned by Sprint.

I see what you are saying, but Sprint will be basically shooting themselves in the foot if they do that; Cricket will probably get it, more importantly, the can of 'pre-paid' has been opened. I for one never thought of a viable prepaid option for the iPhone, but I can get the unlocked one in November and get StraightTalk or any other prepaid carrier.

I am just so sick of paying a premium for 'unlimited' services that I barely need, plus over-subsidizing (talk about approx 25% interest rate), and being tied to a contract. No thanks

Code.Red
Jun 7, 2012, 05:56 PM
Virgin Mobile's PR explicitly states that the unlimited text plan is "SMS texting." I'm assuming that means no MMS, so it looks like there's no way to send pictures or videos via text. Is that an accurate assumption?That's weird wording on their part; the way the plans work right now, MMS are supported and are unlimited.

As a side note, iPhone-to-iPhone texting will use iMessages, which is technically data.

memo90061
Jun 7, 2012, 05:58 PM
I wonder if a jailbreak would unlock the Virgin Mobile iPhone later on.

btcutter
Jun 7, 2012, 06:36 PM
not sure I would buy a FULL price iPhone and have it locked to VM. :mad:

If it's locked then it should be subsidized.

albanian
Jun 7, 2012, 07:07 PM
not sure I would buy a FULL price iPhone and have it locked to VM. :mad:

If it's locked then it should be subsidized.

Yeah, this is kind of a dealbreaker for me.

btcutter
Jun 7, 2012, 07:11 PM
All this information lead to to check out Straight Talk website.

This is awful. Most of the link I am clicking on is dead!:mad:

Is that how this company functions? can't even keep it's website updated and functional?:confused:

andyx3x
Jun 7, 2012, 07:56 PM
not sure I would buy a FULL price iPhone and have it locked to VM. :mad:

If it's locked then it should be subsidized.

This is one of the reasons I don't think the iPhone will do that well on VM at the current prices.

MacAddict1978
Jun 7, 2012, 08:28 PM
I just need to know how much the phone will cost, I recently switched from Virgin mobile since I wanted a new phone even though the service was just fine. If the price is $299 I'm sold, I like android and ICS but I'd rather have everything on Apple.

hello mcfly

Seriously, the first 2 pages are posts of people asking:
"Doesn't virgin use sprint's network?"
"how much does it cose?"
"is it unlockeD?"

READ THE FRACKING ARTICLE. IT IS RIGHT IN YOUR FACE.

Moment of passion nearly over... but I'm more vexed at those who answer these comments. You can lead a horse to pasture, but you can't make it drink... if it doesn't drink, let it be thirsty :-)

and yes, vote me down for being a jerk... but seriously, hookedonphonics.com

----------

How come no one asks if your existing number could be ported to VM or other pre-paid carriers? For me this is a big deal.

Because they... well, probably got off their keister and typed into their webbrowser www.virginmobile.com

Clicked the lovely US flag... and read the answer, which i refuse to give you.

http://virginmobileusa.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/895/session/L3RpbWUvMTMzOTExODU2NC9zaWQvUXI3V2s2LWs%3D

You'll actually have to read. And it took less time to fid that answer than it did for you to post about it.

----------

AFAIK, all three pre-paid carriers that you mention (ST, Cricket, and Virgin) rely on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint's networks to provide their customers coverage.

It'll be interesting to me to see what happens to the pre-paid carriers when their contracts with the big carriers are up. You'd think that if the big carriers end up losing a ton of customers to the pre-paids, they're definitely going to up the rates that they charge the pre-paid carriers to use their network.

My guess is that until a pre-paid carrier builds out their own network to be as large as AT&T or Verzion's, there's going to be no real long-term freedom from the big carriers. (And as T-Mobile has clearly demonstrated, if you don't have a big customer base and your game plan is just to offer cheap plans, you won't earn enough revenue to be able to afford to build out decent nationwide network, plus be ready to deploy whatever the next new wireless technology is).

I agree totally with your thought. This is where Sprint would have a big win, as they own Virgin Mobile and Boost and their network. It would only make their product more attractive... and that alone might keep Verizon and AT&T at bay for awhile. (Same can be said for TMobile's prepaid products.)

At the end of the day, the wireless market it very tapped out. It's more people moving around from carrier to carrier than it is having opportunities for growth.

albanian
Jun 7, 2012, 08:31 PM
I'm not an iPhone user, so forgive me if this is a simple question, but will it be possible to unlock the iPhone 4S if in fact is is locked to VM?

RedCroissant
Jun 7, 2012, 08:51 PM
That sounds like UMA technology. What you were told is true (using UMA to make phone calls doesn't deduct minutes from your plan), but the iPhone doesn't support UMA.

Also remember that in some markets, the frequencies that T-Mobile uses for its 3G data network aren't supported by the iPhone, which means your iPhone would run on the slower EDGE data network. I know T-Mobile's been shuffling their frequencies around to mitigate this, but if you use data lot of your iPhone, you might want to ask about your specific market before you switch.

Not that it matters, but you're still required to pay taxes, even if you pay your bill online. T-Mobile may give you a monthly discount to your bill (for paying online) that's the same amount as taxes, but rest assured that those taxing you are still getting their money. :)

Thanks to you and the others that responded to my post and corrected a few things. I had no idea that the iPhone didn't support UMA since I did download Viber, which lets you make phone calls over Wifi. The only problem is that you can only call people that have Viber installed as well. So too bad for that and I guess my best option is the $50 plan. And yeah, I know the taxes will still be paid, I just like the fact that the bill is a very nice round number.

Luckily for me, I normally use my phone either at home or at school(WiFi), so data speeds should be fine in both of those places. Edge doesn't bother me too much and the main selling point is the price difference. If my wife and I can both have phone service and get to keep our iPhones for $100 total, then I save $50 over AT&T, and that's pretty awesome. Plus, the T-Mobile plan offers more data as well.

UnusedLoginID
Jun 7, 2012, 08:52 PM
... but then I remembered that the iPhone 4/4s for Sprint (which network Virgin Mobile uses) does not have a micro-SIM card slot. Which means that the $649 iPhone would be useless outside the country (not even to make phone calls).

Now if T-Mobile would do the same thing at the same prices, then maybe I'll fork the $$$ for an iPhone.

Or if the iPhone 5 will have both Sprint and GSM coverage... like the new Verizon iPad. Then it won't be a brick when you travel.

quietstormSD
Jun 7, 2012, 08:54 PM
I hope this puts pressure on AT&T, Verizon, T-mobile and Sprint to offer sanctioned prepaid plans for iPhones, if your out of contract and/or buy your phone outright.

RedCroissant
Jun 7, 2012, 08:59 PM
It is possible to use an unlocked iPhone on T-Mobile, but my understanding is that right now it'll only work on GSM, not UMTS. Besides that, stuff like visual voicemail won't work.



http://t-mobile-coverage.t-mobile.com/4g-wireless-broadband-service

http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-1680

That's pretty awesome, but it sounds like it doesn't work with all phones-so almost certainly wouldn't work with the iPhone-plus it DOES still take minutes from your plan. It's only unlimited if you already have an unlimited plan.



I'm almost certain it doesn't. Check with howard forums for more info, but I think you're left with it functioning like a normal cell phone. Which of course isn't a deal breaker in and of itself, but visual voicemail does seem like a neat feature.

Yeah, you were right about all that and I guess the salesperson wasn't fully aware of the restrictions. All those were bonuses anyway since what I really care about is saving more over At&T.

I probably should have done some more research as well, but when I saw that I could save money, I just got excited.

albanian
Jun 7, 2012, 09:04 PM
... but then I remembered that the iPhone 4/4s for Sprint (which network Virgin Mobile uses) does not have a micro-SIM card slot. Which means that the $649 iPhone would be useless outside the country (not even to make phone calls).

Now if T-Mobile would do the same thing at the same prices, then maybe I'll fork the $$$ for an iPhone.

Or if the iPhone 5 will have both Sprint and GSM coverage... like the new Verizon iPad. Then it won't be a brick when you travel.

Check your facts: it does have a micro-SIM slot. The only problem is that it might be locked to Virgin Mobile, but if its not, you'd be free to use it anywhere.

petsounds
Jun 7, 2012, 10:00 PM
MacRumors, why are you parroting this nonsense:

All three of Virgin Mobile's plans include unlimited texting and data (throttled after 2.5 GB)

Unlimited != throttled. Unlimited is unlimited. Don't reinforce their deceptive marketing.

cvaldes
Jun 7, 2012, 11:47 PM
Old prepaid phones were simple... you loaded them up with minutes and you didn't have to pay again until those minutes ran out.

What exactly is "prepaid" about paying $30 every month?

Shouldn't the correct term for this be "contract free" ?
Technically, it is prepaid.

You are paying in advance for services that you are about to use.

That's why there's no credit check. You will never be in debt to the mobile operator. If you fail to pay by the service renewal date, your cellular service will be cut off. Your phone will stop working.

For a postpaid plan, you are paying for what you already used. If you don't pay, you are still in debt to the service provider for services rendered. That's why postpaid plan customers are typically subject to a credit check.

You are being confused by the notion of prepaid services with set limits (or no limits) versus prepaid services that are metered.

While prepaid cellular services became originally popular as metered service, it does not mean that unmetered service doesn't qualified as prepaid.

In a way, it's a bit like operating a motor vehicle. You prepay your registration fees and insurance; those are basically fixed costs and don't change regardless of much you drive over the upcoming year. Whether you drive 200 miles or 2000 miles per month doesn't matter: you still need valid registration and insurance. If you fail to pay your insurance premiums by the renewal date, then get into an accident, your insurance company won't provide coverage for the damages.

Gas? That's more like metered prepay. You stick some money into an account (i.e., filling your tank) and you deduct from what you have prepaid based on your metered usage (how far you drive).

Just don't get stuck on the notion that prepaid necessarily means metered usage. Quite a few people seem to get this bogus concept stuck in their heads, even though they often prepay for "unlimited" or fixed usage for many things in their lives (e.g., the auto example above, fitness club memberships, Netflix subscriptions).

Note that going into a postpaid arrangement typically stipulates a contract between the creditor and debtor, because creditor wants to get paid for services rendered. Minors are not legally able to sign contracts which is why they can't sign for postpaid cellular services themselves. Minors are perfectly capable of dropping a wad of cash on a prepaid service card to recharge their phones.

cvaldes
Jun 7, 2012, 11:58 PM
I hope this puts pressure on AT&T, Verizon, T-mobile and Sprint to offer sanctioned prepaid plans for iPhones, if your out of contract and/or buy your phone outright.
Sadly, AT&T recently removed the ability to buy data packages on their Pay As You Go GoPhone plans.

I was perfectly happy paying for metered GoPhone services for the first six months of my iPhone 4S ownership; I was averaging about $13 in cellular service costs per month. Then AT&T changed their policies, and now Straight Talk is my service provider.

Maybe AT&T will reinstate data packages on the Pay As You Go GoPhone plans, but I'm not holding my breath.

Such a shame.

twoodcc
Jun 8, 2012, 12:52 AM
i think this is great, but they could have at least reduced the price of the iPhone a little

macbookflasher
Jun 8, 2012, 01:27 AM
it is extraordinary .i hope it will make peoples happy with its services.

Temuco
Jun 8, 2012, 01:46 AM
I've got an ATT iPhone 4 going off contract in August. Can I jailbreak it and pay monthly on Sprint? I'm paying $80/mo now. $30/mo sounds much better!

unlimitedx
Jun 8, 2012, 02:43 AM
I've got an ATT iPhone 4 going off contract in August. Can I jailbreak it and pay monthly on Sprint? I'm paying $80/mo now. $30/mo sounds much better!

No. You must buy the iPhone from Virgin Mobile. That is part of the deal. You buy the iPhone from them unsubsidized, in return you get to pay low monthly rates.

eastercat
Jun 8, 2012, 04:52 AM
My contract with ATT is up. On June 29th, can I go to Virgin and start using my current iPhone 4 with them?Even if Virgin was willing to accept the phone (which they aren't), the at&t iphone 4 is gsm only.

Would it work to buy the iPhone for ATT for say $199 (16GB 4S) and then cancel immediately and pay $325 ETF and then buy the straight talk SIM?If you buy a phone from at&t, the cdma side is locked and there are no solutions to unlock it.
Even buying the unlocked phone wouldn't work, because it's only unlocked on the gsm side. People wonder why I hate cdma.

Considering that Virgin isn't willing to do an international unlock and my at&t plan (with discount) works best for me, it looks like I'll be sticking with at&t.

diamond.g
Jun 8, 2012, 05:32 AM
Even if Virgin was willing to accept the phone (which they aren't), the at&t iphone 4 is gsm only.

If you buy a phone from at&t, the cdma side is locked and there are no solutions to unlock it.
Even buying the unlocked phone wouldn't work, because it's only unlocked on the gsm side. People wonder why I hate cdma.

Considering that Virgin isn't willing to do an international unlock and my at&t plan (with discount) works best for me, it looks like I'll be sticking with at&t.

CDMA isn't locked per say. Usually CDMA carriers will refuse to allow ESN activation of unknown devices. It should be possible to have one CDMA carrier activate a phone from another carrier, especially if they carry the same phone.

Michael Scrip
Jun 8, 2012, 05:42 AM
Technically, it is prepaid.

You are paying in advance for services that you are about to use.

That's why there's no credit check. You will never be in debt to the mobile operator. If you fail to pay by the service renewal date, your cellular service will be cut off. Your phone will stop working.

For a postpaid plan, you are paying for what you already used. If you don't pay, you are still in debt to the service provider for services rendered. That's why postpaid plan customers are typically subject to a credit check.

You are being confused by the notion of prepaid services with set limits (or no limits) versus prepaid services that are metered.

While prepaid cellular services became originally popular as metered service, it does not mean that unmetered service doesn't qualified as prepaid.

In a way, it's a bit like operating a motor vehicle. You prepay your registration fees and insurance; those are basically fixed costs and don't change regardless of much you drive over the upcoming year. Whether you drive 200 miles or 2000 miles per month doesn't matter: you still need valid registration and insurance. If you fail to pay your insurance premiums by the renewal date, then get into an accident, your insurance company won't provide coverage for the damages.

Gas? That's more like metered prepay. You stick some money into an account (i.e., filling your tank) and you deduct from what you have prepaid based on your metered usage (how far you drive).

Just don't get stuck on the notion that prepaid necessarily means metered usage. Quite a few people seem to get this bogus concept stuck in their heads, even though they often prepay for "unlimited" or fixed usage for many things in their lives (e.g., the auto example above, fitness club memberships, Netflix subscriptions).

Note that going into a postpaid arrangement typically stipulates a contract between the creditor and debtor, because creditor wants to get paid for services rendered. Minors are not legally able to sign contracts which is why they can't sign for postpaid cellular services themselves. Minors are perfectly capable of dropping a wad of cash on a prepaid service card to recharge their phones.

See... when I hear pre-paid I think of pay-as-you-go... meaning you only pay for what you use.

In the old days... you pre-paid for minutes up front... and you didn't have to pay again until you used those minutes up. You didn't have a regular monthly fee either.

But with this... Virgin Mobile is charging $30 every month and you get 300 minutes, 2.5GB of data and unlimited texts. What if you don't use all the minutes and data you paid for up front? That doesn't sound like pay-as-you-go at all...

The only thing different is that you don't have a contract... which to me is the bigger news here... and the low price.

Whether you pay at the beginning of the month on Virgin Mobile... or at the end of the month on Verizon... you're still paying a monthly fee in order to use your phone. And you still have limits and allowances (the aforementioned 300 minutes, 2.5GB of data and unlimited texts)

That is not pay-as-you-go in my eyes... which was the cause of my confusion. I guess I need to erase the old definition of pre-paid... and substitute it with pay your monthly fee up front and still mind the monthly limits we give you.

I'm not complaining... it's an excellent price. It just seem odd that you have to prepay for 300 minutes that you might never use.

I guess this is how people feel when they pay for 500 channels that they don't watch. :)

Michael Scrip
Jun 8, 2012, 05:54 AM
MacRumors, why are you parroting this nonsense:

Unlimited != throttled. Unlimited is unlimited. Don't reinforce their deceptive marketing.

Yes... there is a limit on speed... but no limit on the amount of data. I think the latter is what they are referring to.

It's caps vs throttling. Maybe they should say partial limiting?

Think of it like this... if I hooked a 50 foot chain to your bumper... you cannot drive farther than 50 feet. (data caps)

But if I put a speed limiter on your engine... you can drive as far as you want... just at reduced speeds. (throttling)

Caps and throttling both suck in my opinion.

foodog
Jun 8, 2012, 06:24 AM
At these prices, I would buy this phone on Virgin before I would buy the iPhone.

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phones/htc-evo-v-phone.jsp

As a former EVO user..... there is a reason it is that much cheaper.

----------


Even buying the unlocked phone wouldn't work, because it's only unlocked on the gsm side. People wonder why I hate cdma.
.

I'm sure it is the carriers not the technology that keeps it locked.

----------

hello mcfly


Moment of passion nearly over... but I'm more vexed at those who answer these comments. You can lead a horse to pasture, but you can't make it drink... if it doesn't drink, let it be thirsty :-)


I think you were looking for you can lead a horse to water....

Kronios
Jun 8, 2012, 09:46 AM
Q: Is the International SIM locked or unlocked for Virgin Mobile iPhone 4Scustomers?
iPhone sold by Virgin Mobile will be locked to their network and will not be able tobe used when located outside the US.


Is there no way for an end-user to unlock the SIM slot?

Wolfpup
Jun 8, 2012, 09:57 AM
2.5GB of data

Wait, there's a 2.5GB data cap?

I have no idea how much data I'd be likely to use, and I'd try to leave it on Wifi as much as possible, but I didn't know there was a cap. What happens if you pass it?

MadeTheSwitch
Jun 8, 2012, 10:06 AM
Awesome news! I wonder if Virgin Mobile will support Visual Voicemail?

Nope. Don't plan on that being available. The bare bones price gets you bare bones service and they have no visual voicemail on any of the phones they sell now, and I don't see them changing their backend to support it anytime soon either. Doesn't mean that things couldn't change in the future. Two years ago people wouldn't have expected the iPhone on Virgin Mobile at all. But with a $30 a month service you can and should expect some compromises.

This could be a game changer. At $35 a month I'm wondering what the catch is.

I'm tired of dropping a C-note a month on cel phone service with AT&T; if their coverage is decent I will definitely be jumping ship come November when my contract expires.

EDIT: Hmm, if they don't offer a 64GB handset, this will be a no go. They only mention the 16GB iPhone 4S; no mention of the 32 or 64GB models being available. I hope they will be available, and they were just left out to avoid sticker shock.

Considering the already substantial upfront cost of the unsubsidized iPhone you should not expect to see a 64gb one. Maybe down the road. But I would not expect that anytime soon. this is a bit of an experiment for Virgin Mobile. They have never offered a phone at such a high price before. Then again, they weren't offering an iPhone either. Still...that much money upfront is a lot for many people. So I'm thinking they want to be a little conservative and see what demand is like first before offering a another model at even higher cost.

As for what's the catch? As a VM customer I can answer that in two words: Data speed. The phone service has been great, but data is an entirely different story. It's so slow that at times it is completely unusable. Particularly at high traffic times of the day or congested areas. For example, streaming music...it will work in the dead of night as you drive down the road quite well, but during the daytime hours when everyone is awake? Forget it. So many buffering issues that both the phone and you will just give up. Another example is someplace busy like a theme park. Good look looking anything up or connecting to FB in a place like that. You'll need it.

Overall, I am very happy with Virgin Mobile. I have never had any major service problems, and the cost has been great. I can really only remember a few dropped calls, and they were when I was out in rural farm towns. As for the 3G (CDMA Rev A) speeds, that is perhaps the only con of VM. I would say on average I get about 750kbps down, and 600kbps up. Sometimes that goes up to around 1.25mbps, though that is somewhat rare. For what I do though, it is fine, and the speeds should go up, as Sprint and Virgin Mobile are pushing people over to LTE and WiMax, freeing up 3G resources.

Sprint's LTE is barely in it's infancy so I would not count on that to improve 3G resources anytime soon. As for WiMax, yeah they have some people on that, and they are pushing some VM people onto it as well with their new handsets this summer. But I don't think that is a big enough footprint to make a difference. It certainly hasn't improved the service I'm getting.

Technically, it is prepaid.

You are paying in advance for services that you are about to use.

That's why there's no credit check. You will never be in debt to the mobile operator. If you fail to pay by the service renewal date, your cellular service will be cut off. Your phone will stop working.

For a postpaid plan, you are paying for what you already used. If you don't pay, you are still in debt to the service provider for services rendered. That's why postpaid plan customers are typically subject to a credit check.
.

Don't forget the cost of the subsidized phone. That's another reason that factors into the credit check. If they offer a $200 phone for free, they want to know you are going to actually stick around awhile making up that cost (and then some) with your monthly plan amount.

LordJohnWhorfin
Jun 8, 2012, 10:08 AM
Wait, there's a 2.5GB data cap?

I have no idea how much data I'd be likely to use, and I'd try to leave it on Wifi as much as possible, but I didn't know there was a cap. What happens if you pass it?

It's explained in the article AND on VM's web site. If you go past the 2.5GB threshold, your data will be throttled down to 256kbps or less until the end of the month. You will restart the next month at full speed until you use up the 2.5GB quota.

Carriers have been using different strategies to limit their subscribers' voracious appetite for data: grandfathered unlimited data plans are usually throttled (more or less gently, more or less clearly). New plans are almost all limited, with overages (typically $10/GB with a $30 minimum).

AFAIK, only Sprint offers an unlimited, unthrottled data plan.

----------

I find it outrageous that Virgin would lock the GSM section of their unsubsidized phone. That makes StraightTalk all the more attractive... It's even cheaper (by $5) for unlimited everything. If you travel internationally, your $650 Virgin phone will be as useful as a brick (albeit considerably lighter)

Wolfpup
Jun 8, 2012, 11:05 AM
Nope. Don't plan on that being available. The bare bones price gets you bare bones service and they have no visual voicemail on any of the phones they sell now, and I don't see them changing their backend to support it anytime soon either.

Would they need to? I just assumed it would support it, and Sprint's already got it, so that seems like they'd just be withholding a feature to try to make you pay more on Sprint?

Oh well...I've been living without that, but it does seem like it would be really cool.

And thanks for the info on the data stuff. Sounds sort of frustrating, but as long as it works well as a PHONE, the other stuff is a bonus for me mostly, and might work better for me anyway where I am.

It's explained in the article AND on VM's web site. If you go past the 2.5GB threshold, your data will be throttled down to 256kbps or less until the end of the month. You will restart the next month at full speed until you use up the 2.5GB quota.

Ooooh, okay, thanks. Yeah, I'd read that but the person mentioned a cap instead of throttling. I don't really have a problem with that at all. I mean compared to other plans, 2.5GB now is actually more than competitors provide on much more expensive plans, and then instead of ending up with a $900 bill or something if I somehow ended up going over, I'd just be throttled.

32KB/s sounds fine to me anyway, if I were really getting that. I had an iDen android phone for a while with Sprint's Boost service. iDen is "2.5G" I think, and was something like 5KB/s max, which was actually just fine for keeping stuff synced with Google, and even decent enough for web browsing in a pinch. 6x faster than that would be totally fine for me, and that's assuming I ever went over. Since cell phone carriers don't really seem to have much bandwidth available, and I don't want to screw Sprint when they're offering a good plan, I'd try to keep my data use to a minimum anyway, so HOPEFULLY won't ever get near 2GB.

Man, I don't know how I'm going to resist this when the 29th hits...my only resistance at all is just the U.S. Cellular's coverage is PHENOMENAL. Sprint's is worse, although still better than AT&T and T-Mobile here, but I think gets iffier in smaller areas :-/

But...$40/month to FINALLY have a freaking iPhone? A price I can actually justify paying? Probably too tempting for me lol
AFAIK, only Sprint offers an unlimited, unthrottled data plan.

Yeah, which is pretty amazing. At this point, even the throttled plans like Virgin, I assume Boost, and T-Mobile are amazing compared to what everyone else is doing.

We're clearly not even close to having enough bandwidth available if a minority of people using smart phones, most of them probably pretty lightly, is enough to break the systems.

[quote]That makes StraightTalk all the more attractive... It's even cheaper (by $5) for unlimited everything. If you travel internationally, your $650 Virgin phone will be as useful as a brick (albeit considerably lighter)

Yeah, but I'm more worried about the Straighttalk service, stories of people being cancelled if they use more than 100MB a day (losing phone numbers they've had for ages in the process!), not giving ACTUAL limits (like others, I'd be MORE inclined to use it if they'd actually tell you what the limits are instead of falsely claiming they're unlimited), etc.

I mean ideally it's cool, you get an unlocked iPhone of your choice, you've got maybe at least one or two other options if it doesn't work out, etc., but I just trust Sprint more than SmartTalk, and like that if I do screw up with data I'll get throttled, not cancelled.

albanian
Jun 8, 2012, 11:21 AM
[/COLOR]I find it outrageous that Virgin would lock the GSM section of their unsubsidized phone. That makes StraightTalk all the more attractive... It's even cheaper (by $5) for unlimited everything. If you travel internationally, your $650 Virgin phone will be as useful as a brick (albeit considerably lighter)

This really really ticks me off. Paying full price for a GSM-locked phone. I think I'm gonna hold of until the new iPhone is released. I'm hoping it'll finally be compatible with T-Mobile, so I can take advantage of their Monthly 4G plan.

zeromeus
Jun 8, 2012, 12:08 PM
Great plan pricing! I wonder if I can just get an unlocked iPhone from the Apple store and just use it on VM.

Wolfpup
Jun 8, 2012, 12:11 PM
Great plan pricing! I wonder if I can just get an unlocked iPhone from the Apple store and just use it on VM.

Unfortunately no. Virgin (Sprint) is Qualcomm's CDMA, like Verizon and U.S. Cellular.

MadeTheSwitch
Jun 8, 2012, 04:59 PM
Would they need to? I just assumed it would support it, and Sprint's already got it, so that seems like they'd just be withholding a feature to try to make you pay more on Sprint?

No, while VM is a subsidiary of Sprint, and uses the Sprint towers, they are still a separate system. For instance, there are times where VM data goes down and Sprint people are happily going about their business.

In addition to those technical reasons, I am sure that witholding features is a strategy as well. If they gave you the exact same thing for far less money, what would be the point? They have to differentiate their service somehow.

Oh, and that's another thing that's different...service. Virgin Mobile has no stores of their own, and their stuff is not sold at Sprint stores either. Apple stores will also not be an option on this one. So if you like walking into a store and swapping your phone out easily or talking to a rep about your phone that's not going to happen. The best you will be able to do is a 3rd party like Best Buy or Radio Shack. Some people might miss that and it might affect their decision being a little more detached like that. It doesn't bother me though.

albanian
Jun 8, 2012, 07:48 PM
Oh, and that's another thing that's different...service. Virgin Mobile has no stores of their own, and their stuff is not sold at Sprint stores either.

Actually, all of my local Sprint stores also carry VM phones.

eastercat
Jun 8, 2012, 09:30 PM
CDMA isn't locked per say. Usually CDMA carriers will refuse to allow ESN activation of unknown devices. It should be possible to have one CDMA carrier activate a phone from another carrier, especially if they carry the same phone.

I'm sure it is the carriers not the technology that keeps it locked.Of course it's the carriers, but it's still locked. I shouldn't have to be dependent on the carrier to move my phone to another service. Once I've met my contractual obligations, that should solely be my decision.
The problem is there's no way to get around this carrier-induced block. With my phone and its unlocked bb, I can jb, install ultrasnow and be on Orange tomorrow.
OTOH, I can hack at a sprint phone all I want, but nothing will get it accepted on verizon's network. I have to have their permission. Sure metro pcs will take it, but they have wretched coverage out in the boonies.
I hate cdma because it doesn't even give you the option of breaking free of your carrier or using your phone with another carrier.

Is there no way for an end-user to unlock the SIM slot?I've read some people used gevey to allow use of cdma phones with at&t. I don't remember how successful it was. If you're the type who updates to the latest ios or does so without thinking, however, this isn't going to work for you. Gevey is concerned with your bb, so you have to be careful when updating.

MadeTheSwitch
Jun 8, 2012, 10:55 PM
Actually, all of my local Sprint stores also carry VM phones.

Then that's either a regional thing or a more recent change because they did not use to. What area of the country?

JBazz
Jun 8, 2012, 11:14 PM
Then that's either a regional thing or a more recent change because they did not use to. What area of the country?

In Texas the Sprint stores also carry VM phones. They have for the last several years I have used them.

btcutter
Jun 9, 2012, 12:51 AM
Then that's either a regional thing or a more recent change because they did not use to. What area of the country?

same NW territory.

Wolfpup
Jun 9, 2012, 01:37 AM
I was under the impression Sprint stores didn't carry prepaid either. It kind of makes sense that they would since I think US Cellular and probably Verizon and AT&T (?) do?

If they do, that's kind of nice to at least potentially be able to go in there to buy it, or maybe get them to test a flaky phone or something.

And thanks for the info about data somehow being different! Well, I'm still hoping for visual voicemail anyway :D

skier777
Jun 9, 2012, 12:19 PM
The main catch is having to buy the phone outright and unsubsidized. That's going to keep me away from buying one on Day 1.

For a while Virgin Mobile in canada would give you a free or highly discounted iPhone if you bought like $700 dollars worth of credits... It essentially made it like a contract plan, given that you can not cash out your credits.

MadeTheSwitch
Jun 9, 2012, 12:23 PM
In Texas the Sprint stores also carry VM phones. They have for the last several years I have used them.

Interesting. I've definitely been in some Sprint stores during that timeframe in California and they did not carry them and have heard others mention that too. I will have to go back to some stores and see if anything has changed. Good to know.

Wolfpup
Jun 9, 2012, 12:35 PM
For a while Virgin Mobile in canada would give you a free or highly discounted iPhone if you bought like $700 dollars worth of credits... It essentially made it like a contract plan, given that you can not cash out your credits.

Huh, that's a pretty cool way to do it! Of course in the U.S., you're still getting a way cheaper plan, so I can see how that wouldn't really work for them necessarily.

blackhand1001
Jun 9, 2012, 12:36 PM
They're going to have a hard time selling many when there are options like this for half the price. Its very highly rated as well in the user reviews. 4.7/5 average rating which is extremely good.

$299.99
HTC evo V (rebadged sprint evo 3d)
Dual core 1.2 ghz
1gb Ram
1730mah battery
4.3 inch 3d QHD lcd Screen
Android 4.0 out of the box (no waiting for an update)
Excellent build quality and durability (not just picking one like with apple who doesn't have the durability aspect down)



http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phones/htc-evo-v-phone.jsp

Wolfpup
Jun 9, 2012, 12:49 PM
They're going to have a hard time selling many when there are options like this for half the price. Its very highly rated as well in the user reviews. 4.7/5 average rating which is extremely good.

$299.99
HTC evo V (rebadged sprint evo 3d)
Dual core 1.2 ghz
1gb Ram
1730mah battery
4.3 inch 3d QHD lcd Screen
Android 4.0 out of the box (no waiting for an update)
Excellent build quality and durability (not just picking one like with apple who doesn't have the durability aspect down)



http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phones/htc-evo-v-phone.jsp

Huh...I didn't realize that phone was as good as it is. That actually looks like about as good as you can do. 1GB RAM, 1.2GHz CPU..don't know if it's snapdragon or A9, but either way that's very solid, and yeah, I bet you're right that that'll draw away some customers.

Really Android is tempting to me, but I just don't think it can handle podcasts the way iOS can...I mean I'd love to play with it and see if I can find a program that can, see if the interface for it is good enough. But I THINK for me I'm locked in to Apple until someone gets their act together with that.

blackhand1001
Jun 9, 2012, 12:53 PM
Huh...I didn't realize that phone was as good as it is. That actually looks like about as good as you can do. 1GB RAM, 1.2GHz CPU..don't know if it's snapdragon or A9, but either way that's very solid, and yeah, I bet you're right that that'll draw away some customers.

Really Android is tempting to me, but I just don't think it can handle podcasts the way iOS can...I mean I'd love to play with it and see if I can find a program that can, see if the interface for it is good enough. But I THINK for me I'm locked in to Apple until someone gets their act together with that.

This handles podcasts. I just did a search on google and this was the top result. Very highly rated as well.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mobi.beyondpod&hl=en

There are many other apps as well and google offers podcast support with there google listen app.

Wolfpup
Jun 9, 2012, 12:53 PM
Sorry, I somehow got a double post.

Anyway regarding that Beyondpod, thanks for the link. It looks promising though it doesn't give any info on whether podcasts can be managed manually, like whether you can see play count and then then delete or back up ones you've listened to. The lack of integration with a PC would be annoying for me too.

So I don't THINK it would work for me, though I really appreciate the link!

blackhand1001
Jun 9, 2012, 01:16 PM
Sorry, I somehow got a double post.

Anyway regarding that Beyondpod, thanks for the link. It looks promising though it doesn't give any info on whether podcasts can be managed manually, like whether you can see play count and then then delete or back up ones you've listened to. The lack of integration with a PC would be annoying for me too.

So I don't THINK it would work for me, though I really appreciate the link!

I wouldn't be so negative about thinking it won't work as it probably will. There are tons of apps that do the same thing and google themselves has one. A lot of the negative things you'll hear about android here are really not true or exaggerated. Also most apps on android are free even when its ios counterpart costs money so you may be surprised that many of the apps you have purchased on ios that you were afraid of losing you may already have without buying them again.

jpine
Jun 9, 2012, 02:40 PM
While tempting for $30 a month, Sprint coverage in the Chicago area is pretty ******.

Still? :eek: When I was with Sprint about 10 years ago and traveling through Chicago on my way to MI, I zero bars on the TriState and on the 80 until about the IN state line.

albanian
Jun 9, 2012, 05:21 PM
Then that's either a regional thing or a more recent change because they did not use to. What area of the country?

Over here in Delaware, and around the Tri-State area.

eleven59
Jun 9, 2012, 08:56 PM
Too bad there's no federal law saying they can't lock phones or that everyone has to use gsm!!

It's a shame this is a 3G iPhone 4s and not being used on their 4g clear wire network like the android 4g phones... Wonder why? And if it will change in near future?

albanian
Jun 9, 2012, 09:35 PM
Too bad there's no federal law saying they can't lock phones or that everyone has to use gsm!!

It's a shame this is a 3G iPhone 4s and not being used on their 4g clear wire network like the android 4g phones... Wonder why? And if it will change in near future?

It might just have to do with the fact that the iPhone doesn't have WiMax ;)

Warbrain
Jun 10, 2012, 12:07 AM
Still? :eek: When I was with Sprint about 10 years ago and traveling through Chicago on my way to MI, I zero bars on the TriState and on the 80 until about the IN state line.

It's ok in spots but I know that I get nothing on my Sprint work phone in a lot of places.

ftaok
Jun 10, 2012, 08:55 AM
Too bad there's no federal law saying they can't lock phones or that everyone has to use gsm!!


Blame the FCC. They had a chance to go with a single standard when we switched from analog to digital.

I suppose they took the lobbying money and voted for inconsistent "standards" so that the carriers could maintain their own little monopolies.

If you really want to rile yourself up, take a look at the list of FCC commissioners over the years and see where they end up working after their terms are over. They all pretty much end up working or consulting telecommunications firms ... either that, or they came from telecommunications firms before they were appointed to the FCC. It's an outrage, yet the media never reports this type of stuff ... perhaps because the media benefits from having insiders in the FCC.

andylaiphoto
Jun 10, 2012, 04:06 PM
Sorry I didn't take the time to read through the whole thread but I have a few questions.

- What are the chances that VM will let you use an iPhone sold by Sprint on the "VM" network?
- What will the used market for VM specific phones be like? Will they sell anywhere near what you pay for it? That's the one plus of buying the subsidized phones is you can actually make money when you sell off your old model.
- Regarding the minutes, are these considered anytime minutes only? Is there a such thing as "mobile to mobile" type minutes with VM?
- Will the texting function be SMS or MMS?

Thanks guys.

albanian
Jun 10, 2012, 06:05 PM
Sorry I didn't take the time to read through the whole thread but I have a few questions.

- What are the chances that VM will let you use an iPhone sold by Sprint on the "VM" network?
- What will the used market for VM specific phones be like? Will they sell anywhere near what you pay for it? That's the one plus of buying the subsidized phones is you can actually make money when you sell off your old model.
- Regarding the minutes, are these considered anytime minutes only? Is there a such thing as "mobile to mobile" type minutes with VM?
- Will the texting function be SMS or MMS?

Thanks guys.

As a current VM user, I'll try to answer your questions.

1. Slim-to-none. As a no-contract carrier, the bulk of their money is made through selling hardware, which is why it costs more upfront.

2. The iPhone compared to the rest of VM lineup is a completely different beast in terms of resale value. Generally, the iPhone holds a very strong value up to 2 years down the road. However, seeing as though the 4S is already several months old, you may not have as long to get a good resale value from it. In addition, if it really is locked to VM's network as it has been rumored, the resale value will likely drop tremendously.

3. In terms of minutes, its plain and simple. Say you purchase the cheapest plan, which nabs you 300 minutes. This is all you get for the month. No mobile-to-mobile, no nighttime minutes, and no weekends. Just 300 minutes to use whenever you want. When the new month begins, you start fresh with 300 minutes (the minutes do not rollover).

4. As for SMS vs. MMS, I assume you're asking this because some people have pointed out that VM press release explicitly mentions SMS, and not MMS. I can't give you a definitive answer, but all of the other VM smartphones do have MMS capabilities, so I see no reason why the iPhone would be limited in such a way.

I hope this helps!

MadeTheSwitch
Jun 10, 2012, 06:07 PM
Sorry I didn't take the time to read through the whole thread but I have a few questions.

- What are the chances that VM will let you use an iPhone sold by Sprint on the "VM" network?

Unless they have a change in operating procedure, I'd say close to ZERO. You cannot take Android phones from Sprint and use them on VM for instance (or visa versa). Despite that they use the same towers and Sprint owns VM, it is definitely run as a separate company with separate phones, C/S..almost separate everything really.

- What will the used market for VM specific phones be like? Will they sell anywhere near what you pay for it? That's the one plus of buying the subsidized phones is you can actually make money when you sell off your old model.

Hard to say in this case. iPhones have never been on prepaid networks officially before, and never ever on Virgin Mobile, so there is definitely some new ground being broken here. I guess it depends on how well iPhones sell on a carrier where the most expensive phone to date has been half the price of an iPhone, and usually a lot less. It will be interesting to see. I suspect it will do well though.

- Regarding the minutes, are these considered anytime minutes only? Is there a such thing as "mobile to mobile" type minutes with VM?

Nope...your minutes are your minutes. There are not different types. No mobile to mobile. No nights or weekends. Nothing like that.

- Will the texting function be SMS or MMS?
I've never had the need to MMS ever, so I've never even tried...so can't comment on MMS capability. Maybe someone else can answer that one.

andylaiphoto
Jun 10, 2012, 09:37 PM
Thanks for the response guys.
madetheswitch, you've never sent a picture text?

Shivetya
Jun 11, 2012, 07:26 AM
Even at fifty a month this is a major move. I use a VM prepaid phone currently but this price point makes it easier to ditch the land line completely.

nburwell
Jun 11, 2012, 08:06 AM
EDIT: Hmm, if they don't offer a 64GB handset, this will be a no go. They only mention the 16GB iPhone 4S; no mention of the 32 or 64GB models being available. I hope they will be available, and they were just left out to avoid sticker shock.

I actually emailed VM Customer Service over the weekend. The rep who responded to my question informed me that they will have the 16/32/64 iPhone 4S models available to purchase.

I am on the same boat as you and need the 64GB since I have a lot of music/photos/apps on my iPhone. However, if they're going to be selling the 64GB model for $900+ I may just stick with VZW for now.

MadeTheSwitch
Jun 11, 2012, 09:10 PM
Thanks for the response guys.
madetheswitch, you've never sent a picture text?

Nope! Never have had any reason to. If I want to share a pic with someone, I just use social media of some sort.

Mike9898
Jun 14, 2012, 08:18 PM
Im guessing 90% of people who would buy a prepaid i phone dont qualify for a contract iPhone, most likely they wouldn't qualify for financing.


It's not that they can't qualify for the contract it's too save money cause contracts are too expensive prepaid is a lot cheaper

BrandyVSOP
Jun 18, 2012, 12:33 AM
1. The $30 sounds good right now, but without a contract, what's the likelihood that $30 turns into $40 after a few months? Is VM free to increase the price whenever they feel like it? Then I'd be stuck with a phone that I paid full price for ... which would suck.

2. Are there any limitations on a pre-paid plan? I saw the part about not being allowed to roam off of Sprint's network. I'm assuming that if you were on a Sprint post-paid plan, you'd be able to roam on VZ's network when needed.

Thanks. I'm really hoping that this type of plan becomes more popular. We should really have a model where if you pay full price for the phone, the monthly rate is lower. Yeah, it's probably bad for the carriers and the OEMs, but it's better for the consumers.

Having been a VM customer for 6+ years, I have a Dino-Phone, and have been grandfathered into the same Dino-phone-plan of only $15.00 Top-up every 90 days. If I use it up, it automatically dings another $5.00 from my C/Cd. You never loose the $$$ you have put in, and it continually accrues to pay for phone time in the future. This plan and phone was way before any hint of the fancy phones of today.
But my point, they have honored this plan even though they discontinued it 5 years ago. They have always been good to help me when I have called for service, though sometimes a little hard to understand. I think they are in the Caribbean somewhere.

So now that I am looking at a modern day fancy smart-phone type, I am strongly considering them. I think as long as you are in there regular metropolitan service areas, you will good to go. But if you are often way out off a beaten path, you may find yourself without service.

The Limitations are very well spelled out on there web site for prices and what you get. Yes at this time they ONLY use Sprint.

I would say that paying so little for a plan like they are offering now, and buying a phone for full price, (as long as it lasts long enough...), is a much cheaper way to go.

My 2¢ worth... ;)

LookAtMeGo
Jun 19, 2012, 02:09 AM
I have a Sprint IPhone 4. Am I going to be able activate it with Virgin Mobile?

Pukey
Jun 20, 2012, 05:48 AM
Any word on the 64GB iPhone? I’m already on Virgin Mobile, just waiting for the iPhone. Does anyone have any idea why there’s no mention of the 64GB iPhone and if it’s going to be available or if not, why not? All I know is what Virgin Mobile has posted on their site (http://newsroom.virginmobileusa.com/press-release/handsets/virgin-mobile-usa-offer-iphone-june-29).
I’m wondering if I should just wait for the iPhone 5 or if there’s any proof from previous instances of a long delay between when new iPhones are available on the bigger carriers and when they’re released to the smaller carriers.
I’ve had two Virgin Mobile phones and both of them bore the Virgin Mobile logo which I didn’t mind since they were cheap phones. I hope these iPhones don’t have the Virgin Mobile logo on them though...:)
Thanks for the great breakdown (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=14976181#post14976181) cvaldes!

Mhyles30
Jun 20, 2012, 07:47 PM
My husband and I have been with virgin mobile for over two years, we have tried so many carriers and we really like vm. We are still under the $25.00 monthly coverage...we do not have issues with the costumer service and had not had issues. We live in CO and the only problem we encounter is the coverage. Some areas in the mountains do not have signals but it's not a big deal for us because we don't go to those areas often. Also, I love the international calls, I just pay extra when I need to call and I am not charge an arm and a leg. I am very excited to have the iPhone!

egriego24
Jun 20, 2012, 10:05 PM
Why would anyone do that? Because some people can actually do basic arithmetic (as in elementary school).

Here we go again.

AT&T and Verizon: $199 subsidized iPhone 4S, $36 activation fee, $120 per month ($70 unlimited talk, $20 unlimited text, $30 cellular data 3GB with AT&T at HSPA+ speed, 2GB with Verizon at EV-DO speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $3115

Virgin Mobile: $649 retail iPhone 4S, $50 per month (unlimited talk/text/cellular data 2.5GB at EV-DO speed, throttled after 2.5GB). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1849

Cricket Wireless: $499 partially subsidized iPhone 4S, $55 per month (unlimited talk/text, cellular data 2.3GB soft cap at EV-DO speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1819

Straight Talk: $649 retail iPhone 4S, $15 SIM (one-time charge), $45 per month (unlimited talk/text, cellular data 2GB soft cap at HSPA+ speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1744

Monthly cost of ownership over two-year period:
AT&T/Verizon: $129.79
Virgin Mobile: $77.04
Cricket Wireless: $75.79
Straight Talk: $72.67

Straight Talk service is bare bones, but they are using AT&T's cellular towers. They don't tell you who you called, who sent you texts, how much data you've used, and you can't block numbers. But if you want HSPA+ speeds, they are a cheap dumb pipe.

And to the guys who say, "most people get corporate discounts of 10-25% from the big carriers", well, you still can't do math, can you? Even if you slash 25% off AT&T/Verizon's unlimited rate, that's still $97.34 per month.

If you opt for Straight Talk over a comparable plan from AT&T or Verizon, your break-even point is month six. If you were on AT&T or Verizon and wanted to walk away from the carrier at that point, you'd have to shell out an additional $260 or so in early termination costs.

People who can't do math are throwing hundreds of dollars away each year to the big carriers. AT&T stock dividend yields 8%. Thanks for putting money into my pocket, guys! You are partially paying for my Straight Talk cellular service!

Worse, if you have a postpaid plan, you are almost certainly paying a bunch of taxes that are added to the rates quoted by the carrier. The prepaid Straight Talk plan has a few mandated FCC charges, but no local sales tax. So someone using a postpaid AT&T/Verizon plan as quoted above is likely paying an additional $8-10 more in taxes than their next door neighbor on Straight Talk.

I can't do pricing analyses for every household's situation, but clearly, if you care about your money, you might spend a few minutes doing your own analysis to see if you can save hundreds a year.

I will point out that in most countries, people buy handsets at full retail prices and pay much less for monthly service (which is not locked to a long-term contract). Only the United States and a handful of other countries have popular subsidized/long-term contract cellular sales model. The rest of the world is smarter than that.

This isn't entirely true, as with most products you negotiate to an extent based on what the market is offering. I negotiated my AT&T plan down to 90.XX a month.

So a subsidized $199.00 iphone plus 35.00 activation fee plus 90.XX over 24months (My plan includes 450min plus rollover minutes, nights starting at 7pm, free weekends, free mobile-to-mobile, and 3gb of data on a faster network). This costs around $2400 over the contract, what you forgot to include is that once your two-year commitment is up you are allowed to unlock the phone as re-sell it. An unlocked iphone still fetches between 350-450, so even being conservative it costs around $2050 over the span of the contract.

Now you have to weigh your options? Does the faster network, stolen/lost protection, and certainty that you will be able to fully use all the features capable on the device outweigh the $200.00 less it costs to be on VM? Im sticking with AT&T.

If I'm up to date on the thread, VM iphones only work on their network. So this means that the up front $650 you spend on an iphone, must then be sold to an existing VM customer or someone who wants to be on the VM pre-paid service. So your options on re-sale are limited for the time being, I personally dont know one person with a VM phone.

Your analysis is good, but there are other factors a consumer must consider than just "price" valuations.

travis64
Jun 24, 2012, 11:23 PM
deff doing this

wish we could use old sprint iphones on virgin would make this deal even better

nburwell
Jun 25, 2012, 12:23 PM
Any word on the 64GB iPhone? I’m already on Virgin Mobile, just waiting for the iPhone. Does anyone have any idea why there’s no mention of the 64GB iPhone and if it’s going to be available or if not, why not? All I know is what Virgin Mobile has posted on their site (http://newsroom.virginmobileusa.com/press-release/handsets/virgin-mobile-usa-offer-iphone-june-29).
I’m wondering if I should just wait for the iPhone 5 or if there’s any proof from previous instances of a long delay between when new iPhones are available on the bigger carriers and when they’re released to the smaller carriers.
I’ve had two Virgin Mobile phones and both of them bore the Virgin Mobile logo which I didn’t mind since they were cheap phones. I hope these iPhones don’t have the Virgin Mobile logo on them though...:)
Thanks for the great breakdown (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=14976181#post14976181) cvaldes!

I contacted VM Customer Service about the 64GB iPhone. According to the rep I spoke to, they will offer the 16/32/64GB models of the iPhone 4S. I'm in the same boat as you, and need the 64GB model. However, if the prices are through the roof (which I expect them to be), I'm ready to just get the 16 or 32GB model and get a 32 or 64GB iPod Touch (even though I hate carrying two devices with me). I'm just not in favor of paying upwards of $900 for an iPhone.

Ugg
Jun 25, 2012, 12:32 PM
I contacted VM Customer Service about the 64GB iPhone. According to the rep I spoke to, they will offer the 16/32/64GB models of the iPhone 4S. I'm in the same boat as you, and need the 64GB model. However, if the prices are through the roof (which I expect them to be), I'm ready to just get the 16 or 32GB model and get a 32 or 64GB iPod Touch (even though I hate carrying two devices with me). I'm just not in favor of paying upwards of $900 for an iPhone.

You didn't read the press release?

Pricing for iPhone on Virgin Mobile USA:

Plan Plan 1 Plan 2 Plan 3
Monthly Fee $30 $40 $50
Voice (minutes) 300 1,200 Unlimited
SMS Unlimited
Data Unlimited
iPhone 4S 16GB $649
iPhone 4 8GB $549

For more information about iPhone on Virgin Mobile, including special alerts for when iPhone goes on sale on June 29, please visit www.virginmobileusa.com/iphone.

Link to press release (http://newsroom.virginmobileusa.com/press-release/handsets/virgin-mobile-usa-offer-iphone-june-29)

nburwell
Jun 25, 2012, 01:01 PM
You didn't read the press release?



Link to press release (http://newsroom.virginmobileusa.com/press-release/handsets/virgin-mobile-usa-offer-iphone-june-29)

I simply wanted clarification. Yes, I read the press release and it made no mention of the 32/64GB models.

Wolfpup
Jun 25, 2012, 01:11 PM
But now it's sounding like there WILL be 32 and 64GB models available? I was sort of resigned to making do with 16GB...but that's really 13ishGB, and from my experience with my iPad 2, I know it's a bit painful. IMO the extra $100 is probably worth it.

Obviously the $100 from the iPhone 4 to 5 is 1000% worth it, which probably everyone here knows, but if you've got relatives, etc. that don't... Besides 2x the flash (which is worth a lot in and of itself), the CPU(s) and GPU(s) have well over 2x the power, and of course the cameras are I guess better which is a nice bonus. The CPUs though...yikes are they better, and they're slow enough as is.

Pukey
Jun 25, 2012, 01:24 PM
I contacted VM Customer Service about the 64GB iPhone. According to the rep I spoke to, they will offer the 16/32/64GB models of the iPhone 4S. I'm in the same boat as you, and need the 64GB model. However, if the prices are through the roof (which I expect them to be), I'm ready to just get the 16 or 32GB model and get a 32 or 64GB iPod Touch (even though I hate carrying two devices with me). I'm just not in favor of paying upwards of $900 for an iPhone.

Thanks for the information nburwell! I'm glad to hear it. If you go by their pricing it does look like the 64GB could cost $849, but I can't believe they would actually charge that much. It seems crazy. Might have to wait a few months for the price to drop if they actually start that high. If you're going to get an iPhone and iPod Touch, it looks like your only choice would be the 8GB iPhone 4 for $549 and the 8GB iPod Touch for $199. If you think about going with the $30/month plan with a 64GB iPhone at $849, that would be $1209 for the first year and $360 for the second year. A lot less than a plan with most other carriers I imagine.

Ugg
Jun 25, 2012, 01:32 PM
I simply wanted clarification. Yes, I read the press release and it made no mention of the 32/64GB models.

Given that Apple always controls the sales price of its products, I'm sure the 32/64 pricing will be the same as what Apple sells unlocked phones for, which is $749/$849.

There will be no price drop on the 4S by any carrier until the next iteration of the iPhone is released, probably in the fall. I would guess that Apple's offerings then will be iPhone 4, 4S and the newest model.

Wolfpup
Jun 25, 2012, 01:35 PM
Thanks for the information nburwell! I'm glad to hear it. If you go by their pricing it does look like the 64GB could cost $849, but I can't believe they would actually charge that much. It seems crazy. Might have to wait a few months for the price to drop if they actually start that high. If you're going to get an iPhone and iPod Touch, it looks like your only choice would be the 8GB iPhone 4 for $549 and the 8GB iPod Touch for $199. If you think about going with the $30/month plan with a 64GB iPhone at $849, that would be $1209 for the first year and $360 for the second year. A lot less than a plan with most other carriers I imagine.

Looks like they're just charging full price for them. I'd love if they were subsidized a little bit-not sure if the other phones are or not...I mean they're cheaper than they would be, but it could just be the phone companies are willing to cut the price a bit, and Apple doesn't.

But as is, they're the price of unlocked iPhones, which is basically fine though of course it would be nice if you could buy a phone and use it anywhere.

sunnysim
Jul 26, 2013, 07:17 AM
Why? Over two years you save a huge amount of money on the $30/month plan (like $1400) in monthly fees compared to the AT & T or Version carriers.