Virgin Mobile USA Opening Retail Stores in Chicago to Support iPhone Launch

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    As announced earlier this month, Sprint prepaid subsidiary Virgin Mobile USA is launching the iPhone tomorrow, and the carrier has begun taking orders ahead of the official launch.


    As noted by Bloomberg Businessweek, Virgin Mobile is seeking to capitalize on the publicity generated by the iPhone to remake itself as a major player in the market, in part by opening its first ten retail stores in Chicago to coincide with the iPhone launch. Should the stores prove successful, the carrier would seek to expand the initiative nationwide.
    Sprint CEO Dan Hesse indicates that he expects "the iPhone will do very well on Virgin" based on pre-orders of the device so far, and giving customers dedicated retail stores for purchase and support could help extend the brand that has already found a loyal following among prepaid phone users.

    Virgin is the second U.S. prepaid carrier to launch the iPhone, following Leap Wireless, which launched the device through its Cricket brand last weekend. Leap has declined to disclose iPhone sales so far, but its move to add the iPhone has certainly brought the carrier significant publicity.

    According to today's report, MetroPCS may also add the iPhone to its lineup once Apple launches an LTE-compatible model, which is expected later this year. MetroPCS carrier Tom Keys acknowledge that the carrier has had talks with Apple about the iPhone and would "certainly be interested" once LTE is included.

    Article Link: Virgin Mobile USA Opening Retail Stores in Chicago to Support iPhone Launch
  2. macrumors 68020

    Jul 8, 2006
    More carriers in the US, the better. I can't wait to get my iPhone off AT&T.
  3. macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2008
    Southwest Fl
    Very nice to see the additional carriers being added.
  4. aajeev, Jun 28, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012

    macrumors regular

    May 7, 2008
    My major concer is network coverage. I'm on Verizon right now and I can't complain about that. But their new share everything plan is not looking good for me. Might be time to give Virgin Mobile some thoughts. I assume when iPhone 5 comes out Virgin mobile is going to have it as well, since there is no way I will switch for an iPhone 4S and pay that much.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2012
    Here's hoping T-Mobile will have its network iPhone-ready by the end of 2012 as planned.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    According to the Q&A's being on their website, the phones Virgin is selling will be locked to their network. No BYOD either in case anyone is wondering.

    But for $65 you can have Unlimited Calling and Data* and even use it as a mobile hotspot.

    *Albeit throttled after a certain point.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 20, 2008
    I saw this earlier. The iPhone on Virgin is also available today (instead of tomorrow) with free overnight shipping.

    Too bad there is not a single list of of these stores that I could find, I would gladly pick one up tomorrow. I ended up just ordering online....
  8. macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2008
    Richmond, Va
    My contract with ATT just ended, but I am going to hold out and see if Virgin sells 6th gen iPhone when it comes out. If so - I'm jumping. I am sick of paying the 'big boys' for services that should be a lot cheaper.

    I recently was in the UK and bought a sim card for my unlocked iP4, $30 for unlimited talk, text, and data for 30 days - plus hotspot! Amazing!!

    Had I not experienced that - I'd probably just keep paying out my a$$ to att.

    I'm sick of it. My $ is gonna do the talking now. Go if Sprint would improve their coverage, I'd finally feel like I was winning.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Mar 26, 2008
    10 stores, all in the same city? I mean, Chicago's big, but even Apple only has 5 stores in Manhattan :rolleyes:

    EDIT: More direct comparison, Apple has 2 stores in Chicago.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2012
    I just saw that with Verizon, if I were to switch my GF and I, we would go from unlimited, unthrottled data on both devices (LTE on mine and 3g on hers) to 1GB, assuming you are doing the cheapest plan, AND we would be paying 20 bucks more a month. :rolleyes:
  11. macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Sunnyvale CA USA
    My experience with Virgin Mobile for the past year has been very good on coverage. I was previously with Verizon and I have not noticed any difference.

    Good Luck!
  12. macrumors demi-god

    Oct 14, 2005
    Virginia Beach
    You may already know this, but for folks that don't, Sprint coverage and Virgin Mobile coverage are not even close to the same footprint!

    When you pay for the more expensive Sprint service, Sprint ponies up and lets you roam (for free) in areas where they don't have their own towers.

    With Virgin, you only get coverage from towers that Sprint owns. There is no roaming on other networks.

    Left = Sprint's coverage. Right = Virgin's coverage.

    Attached Files:

  13. macrumors regular

    May 7, 2008
    Thanks, this is really good to know. I was always under the impression that Virgin's coverage =(somewhat) Sprint's coverage. But I guess not.
  14. macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I bet the 6th gen 5 iPhone will not available to pre paid vendors, or will be surprised if so...
  15. macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Hmmm....I had assumed they were the same. I don't recall seeing any asterisks!
  16. macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2004
    I've used virgin for a little over a year now(was on att with iphone4 prior). They are most definitely not the same quality as the contract companies, and there have been several times over the past year where I have been seriously tempted to switch back. At that point I calmly remind myself that I'm only paying $25/month on a grandfathered plan.
    Lack of good phones was a big problem, so hopefully the iPhone helps that.
    I had the Optimus V, and now have the Optimus elite which is decent and only $150. On both phones it's been fairly common to have SMS issues. It will say I sent a text but it never actually sends, or days will go by with no received texts than I will get them all at once. but voice quality has been good overall(dependent of signal of course). I'm interested to see how the iPhone performs.
  17. macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2012
    I think it's that if you have Sprint, they can piggy-back off of Verizon which obviously has pretty good coverage, but Virgin can only use Sprint's own towers.
  18. Zen Cow, Jun 28, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2012
    I'm a long-time Virgin Mobile customer and have been generally satisfied with their 300 minute service (grandfathered in at the unbeatable $25/mo).

    Their iphone is a poor deal.

    You're paying full retail price for the iphone, but from what I understand from Virgin's reps, they're locking the 4S's sim card. Unlike Sprint, which at least unlocks it for international use.

    If this is truly the case, it's a severe case of "why bother". Buy a factory unlocked 4S for the same price and put it on straight talk's "unlimited" plan, which is cheaper than Virgin's "unlimited" plan and get faster internet too.

    Plus, your virgin-only iphone will have almost no resale value. Unlike a factory unlocked iphone.

    As much as I would love to replace my crappy Optimus V with an iphone, this doesn't make much financial sense on Virgin.
  19. macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2008
    I doubt there is not going to be the iPhone 5 on any of the prepaid carriers, especially Virgin Mobile, which is owned by Sprint (they will reserve the iPhone 5 to their high-paying customers). Nevertheless, I have Virgin Mobile and am very satisfied, especially since I am paying only $25 (taxes included!) for unlimited 3G, texting, and 300 minutes compared to entry plans from the big three starting around $70/month for a comparable plan. It may not be quite as good coverage, but I hardly have issues. I plan on getting off my lousy android and heading to buy the iPhone tomorrow though :D
  20. macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2010
    That's what I'm thinking as well.

    I'm sure the top tier carriers will push to get the newest models exclusively and the others get the older models.

    It will be interesting to see if Apple buy into it or not.

    It will also be an interesting choice for the consumer. Pay for it all up front with a discount or pay for it in installments at a very high price.

    I hope it does force AT&T and Verizon to fix their very consumer unfriendly data plans
  21. macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2002
    Can you use the unlocked factory phone on virgin then? Or must you use straight talk?
  22. macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2012
    Virgin doesn't roam (unlike Sprint), but I've not come across any coverage issues in my two years on Virgin. I've had better luck with signal than friends currently on AT&T.

    That said, I do live in a major metropolitan area, and don't go off major highways or into the country.


    Nope, the unlocked factory phone is GSM only. So you can use it on Tmobile (edge only until next year), straight talk, one of the other prepaid GSM carriers (not as good a deal as straight talk), or (*shudder*) AT&T.

    So if you *insist* on a 300/min $30 plan, I guess the virgin iphone is is an ok deal, since you can't get a prepaid GSM deal that low, but there are a lot of drawbacks when compared to an identically-priced unlocked GSM iphone. Especially that you just paid $650 for a phone that you can't take on vacation or use on any other provider if you decide to change carriers.
  23. macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2009
    Is there still an issue with Straight Talk's "mobile web" not being a true data plan (i.e. no streaming of pretty much anything)?
  24. macrumors demi-god

    Oct 14, 2005
    Virginia Beach
    Same here. It sort of makes "business sense" for Apple to give the current iPhone to the pre-paid folks during its last quarter on the market. I think that makes its sales numbers look more impressive, as most of the post-paid customers know the cycle and are holding off until the new one drops!
  25. macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2012
    I've heard conflicting reports -- either as soon as you stream anything they cancel you or that people stream all the time and don't have any issues. I don't know what to believe.

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