Apple and Virgin Mobile USA Planning to Launch iPhone 5, But Timeframe Unknown

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    While the three major U.S iPhone carriers launched the iPhone 5 on September 21 and prepaid carrier Cricket and a number of regional carriers followed suit on September 28, one U.S. brand has been curiously silent about its plans for the iPhone 5: Sprint's prepaid Virgin Mobile unit. Virgin launched the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 in late June, offering prepaid plans for as low as $30 per month to customers willing to pay full retail price for their iPhones.

    But while no official iPhone 5 announcement has been made, MacRumors has confirmed that Apple does indeed have Virgin-specific CDMA iPhone 5 units lined up and ready to go. The full suite of Virgin Mobile USA iPhone 5 model numbers includes:

    Black
    - MD250LL/A: 16 GB
    - MD489LL/A: 32 GB
    - MD574LL/A: 64 GB

    White
    - MD355LL/A: 16 GB
    - MD566LL/A: 32 GB
    - MD591LL/A: 64 GB

    A timeframe for an iPhone 5 launch on Virgin Mobile USA is currently unknown, and it is unclear why the carrier did not introduce the iPhone 5 last week alongside competitor Cricket. Among the sixteen official iPhone carriers in the United States, only Virgin Mobile and regional carrier Alaska Communications have yet to introduce the iPhone 5. When asked about Virgin Mobile's iPhone 5 plans last week, a representative simply told MacRumors that the carrier has "made no announcements about this".

    Article Link: Apple and Virgin Mobile USA Planning to Launch iPhone 5, But Timeframe Unknown
     
  2. macrumors member

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  3. macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 20, 2008
    #3
    great news. I can't bring myself to signing a contract with the us bloodsuckers.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

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    Oct 1, 2012
  5. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco, California
    #5
    Buy a GSM unlocked (when available) phone directly from Apple and take it to T-Mobile, they will provide you with a SIM.

    You won't get LTE obviously, but some markets (including the San Francisco Bay Area) are getting 3G HSPA+ compatibility with the same frequency band that AT&T uses, so that you aren't stuck on Edge speeds.

    In the long term, T-Mobile should start rolling out LTE sometime in 2013, but I wouldn't necessarily be counting on it.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    STiNG Operation

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    #6
    I'm really curious to see how good their service is. Do you have any idea?
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    iParis

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    Location:
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    #7
    Yep! Hell, I could have submitted this rumor. When I got my iPhone swapped at the genius bar it wan an unactivated model. It didn't have a sim card in it so when I set it up it asked me the carrier. It gave me Verizon, Sprint, and Virgin Mobile as options. It gave me two warnings saying it will be locked to that carrier before letting me continue.
     
  8. macrumors member

    DCstewieG

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #8
    This could be my next (and first) iPhone. But I don't think it's a secret why it's not available yet. Sprint - owners of Virgin in the U.S. - would rather sell you...well, Sprint service. As long as iPhones are supply-constrained, why would they offer their cheap option?

    Very good to see they'll have more than just the 16GB version.
     
  9. macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #9
    I think it's based on Sprint's network. If I'm right, that's not good, but the price is awesome.
     
  10. macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Encinitas, CA
    #10
    If Sprint sucks for data speeds in the States why would anyone pick this phone up for Virgin? Virgin is constrained to the same horrible speeds that Sprint has right? This news seems like moot in my opinion.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2003
    #11
    Saves $

    If you assume most iPhone users pay $75/month, a $30 plan would save them $45/month. That means the initial monetary outlay for the iPhone 5 would be made up in 14-18 months, depending on which model you buy. After that it's all money in the bank. You'd be a minimum of $270 ahead after two years.

    Of course, this all assumes that the $30/month quote includes both voice and data. (Since iMessage came about, I don't think we need include texting in calculations anymore.)
     
  12. nickn, Oct 1, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012

    macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Sprint's CDMA network is no star, as it typically deliveres around 1mbps down, but NO company can beat the price. VM offers 300 minutes, and unlimited DATA and text for just $30 a month off contract. I think that vast majority of people would take a speed cut for what they are charging.

    It is run off the Sprint Network. I live in the Chicago area, and the service is excellent. Data speeds over the 3G CDMA network aren't exactly the best, as I manage around 1mbps down, but it always works, which is important for me.

    Yes, VM is a subsidiary of Sprint and as such they use the same network. I have been all across the country and Sprint through my VM phone worked fine. I drove From Chicago to Atlanta last year and me and the other occupants of the car used my phone for about 10 hours total. Not once did we ever find a dead spot...
     
  13. macrumors regular

    lwapps

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    #13
    I don't see how more network providers can be anything but a good thing!
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Sprint offers LTE in come areas. Chicago (where I am) being one of them.

    http://www.sprint.com/landings/lte/index.html?ECID=vanity:4GLTE

    This list is somewhat out of date, but still promising.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    #15
    As of right now, Virgin Mobile only has access to the Sprint/Clearwire WiMAX network. Speeds are good on it, at around 10-15mbps down, but no iPhone has WiMAX support, so any iPhone users would be stuck on the Sprint CDMA 3G network.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    #16
    They probably haven't announced it to let the main carriers get their sales first. The unlocked iPhone 5 hasn't even appeared yet at Apple stores..usually appears a month later.

    The issue with the VM one is that you won't be able to use it overseas and pop a SIM in it since its CDMA. Doesn't matter for most but for some, the GSM one is the way to go.

    Five of the top seven carriers in the U.S. use CDMA: Verizon Wireless, Sprint, MetroPCS, Cricket, and U.S. Cellular.

    AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM.
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    iParis

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    Location:
    New Mexico
    #17
    The iPhone 5 uses sim cards no matter the carrier. When I got mine swapped I had to transfer the sim card that, yes, said Verizon on it. Verizon iPhone's come with their sim card slot unlocked, I don't think Sprint does yet. Though when I set mine up it was unactivated so it asked me the carrier. It gave me the options of Verizon, Sprint, or Virgin Mobile. I bet I could have selected Sprint or Virgin Mobile to be one of the few with an unlocked sim slot!
     
  18. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #18
    I didn't last a full month on VM when I bought the iPhone 4S. I would be sure to avoid the iPhone 5 on it too.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    #19
    Their website says that they do throttle after 2.5 GB/month (3.5 GB/month if $15/month hotspot is purchased), but when your whole plan costs the same as just the data of competitors, it's worth considering if the coverage is up to snuff in your area.
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Maryland
    #20
    What do you mean? You didn't like the service or you quickly used up all your data for the month?
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    iParis

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    Location:
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    #21
    Why's that?

    Geeze. Throttling on already the slowest network? Dial-up status.
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    #22
    Dangit! I just ported my number to Straight Talk due to the unavailability of the iPhone 5 with VMo. On the other hand, VMo's coverage in my area looks pretty spotty.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    iParis

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #23
    You could have gone to Virgin Mobile.. When I got my iPhone swapped at the genius bar it wan an unactivated model. It didn't have a sim card in it so when I set it up it asked me the carrier. It gave me Verizon, Sprint, and Virgin Mobile as options. It gave me two warnings saying it will be locked to that carrier before letting me continue. Then again, I don't know if they'd support you or give you a nano sim, though it would be stupid if they didn't since after that it's locked to Virgin Mobile.
     
  24. macrumors 68020

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    Location:
    PHL
    #24
    Their data speeds were absolutely terrible.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    #25
    Does Straighttalk have a nano sim yet? I thought they are holding off??

    Very interested in Straight talk, you are not missing much on Virgin Mobile. Great phone, horrible data.

    I used to be Sprint's biggest advocate on this board (check my older posts), we had an awsome first 10 months, but the past two months have been absolutely horrendous, and with the iPhone 5 launch I decided to break my contract and go prepaid with an iPhone 5 (and sell the 4s)
     

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